Due to reduction of depth, the port will be unable to handle big vessels at the present condition unless it is properly dredged, official source told The Nation. Dredging is the process of removing sediments and silt from the channels. When asked how much it is going to cost for enhancing the depth of the channels and take it to the previous level, the source said that it will require from Rs 6b to Rs7b to complete the dredging process. The source said that just like other CPEC projects, Gwadar deep-sea port was also completely ignored by the past regime and the channels of the port have not been properly maintained.
No dredging of the channels was done during past three and half years of the previous government therefore a lot of silt and other sediments have accumulated in the channels, said the source. Gwadar Port is a warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province of Pakistan. The length of the approach channel of Gwadar deep-sea port is 4.7km. Earlier the deep-sea port depth was up to 18 meters, which has been reduced to 11 meters due to silting, he added.
To deal big ships the depth of channels and berth should be at least 14.5 meters, and since siltation has reduced Gwadar depth to 11 meters, therefore it cannot handle big ships, the official said. Dredging is routine process to maintain the channels, and since no dredging was done for too long therefore six to seven feet silt has accumulated resulting in the reduction of depth, the official further explained. The routine dredging doesn’t cost too much, but if the cleaning process is not done for long time then it requires huge money to regain the lost space, the official said.