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Four DPWH dredging machines to dredge soon – MBTF

SILTED PANTAL, CALMAY RIVERS

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will send another dredging machine to Dagupan to help dredge the silt that accumulated along the Pantal and Calmay rivers.

Mayor Belen Fernandez announced this new arrangement with DPWH during a radio program on DWCM that the city will eventually have four dredging machines that will intensify dredging efforts of the city’s two main rivers.

Presently, two are dredging the Calmay River while one is under repair and could be back in service by October this year.

Fernandez said under repair is the bigger dredging machine, Dredge Visaya, that needs spare parts being sourced overseas by DPWH.

Once serviceable, Dredge Visaya will be harnessed to dredge the mouth of the Calmay River between Barangays Pugaro and Bonuan Gueset where a wide span of sandbar has started to form obstructing the outflow of the river to the sea.

The two other DPWH dredging machines are incapable of dredging the mouth of the river because the river bank there is too deep.

Meanwhile, City Engineer Virginia Rosario asked property owners to lend their properties to the city where silt taken from the river can be deposited.

“Our problem really is where the silt that will be recovered from the rivers can be stockpiled,” Rosario said, adding that only one property owner has so far expressed willingness to lend his property to receive the silt from ongoing dredging activities along the Calmay River near Sitio Guebang in Pantal.

Fernandez said dredging of the Calmay River actually started when she began her first term as mayor of Dagupan City in 2013.

She said then Mayor Benjamin Lim bought a brand new dredging machine for P5 million during the last few months of his second term to dredge the Calmay River.

However, that dredging machine turned out to be a reconditioned unit and not a brand new machine because it was out of commission by the third year and had to be auctioned as scrap metal for only P97,000.

Meanwhile Fernandez decided to buy two back hoes, one of which is long armed and mounted on a floating barge to remove silt from the river.

The smaller dredging machine, Noam, is being used to dredge creeks in the city.

To further intensify the dredging of the city’s rivers, the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution requesting for more dredging machines for Dagupan City

Meanwhile, Fernandez said her administration will continue to elevate low-lying roads in the barangays to level with national roads being built by the DPWH.

“If we didn’t elevate streets, the flood level in their areas would have been higher,” she said, citing Nable Street which was spared by the recent floods.

Toward this end, Rep. Christopher de Venecia announced that the elevation of street level of A.B. Fernandez Avenue West from Burgos St. will soon start.

She said the DPWH promised to build a retaining wall behind Nazareth General, adding the flood along Claveria Road would have covered man’s head if the city did not elevate that stretch. (Leonardo Micua)

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