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Vocational Training Report

Construction of River Embankments at Mouza-Kalutala and

(A Project of Irrigation and Waterways Department of West
Bengal, Basirhat Division, Hingalganj Sub-Division)
Training Period: 14th July 2016 to 29th July 2016

Prepared by:-

MAKAUT Roll No. - 27001313008
MAKAUT Registration No.- 132700110241 of 2013-2014

Department of Civil Engineering

Sabita Devi Education Trust Brainware Group of
398, Ramkrishnapur Road, Barasat, Kolkata 700124


I, Arindam Mondal, hereby declare that this vocational training report is the record of the work
conducted by me at Hingalganj Sub-Division, under Basirhat Division, of Irrigation and
Waterways Department during the training period of 14th July 2016 to 29th July 2016.
The information and data given in the report is authentic to the best of my knowledge.

Signature of the student:
B.Tech. (CE) 4th Year
Sabita Devi Education Trust,
Brainware Group of Institutions


It is my pleasure to be indebted to various people, who directly or indirectly contributed in the

development of this work and who influenced my thinking, behavior, and acts during the course
of study.
I express my sincere gratitude to Prof. Amitava Gangopadhyay, HOD, Civil Engineering
Department, Sabita Devi Education Trust Brainware Group of Institutions for providing me an
opportunity to undergo vocational training at Hingalganj (I) Sub-Division, under Basirhat
Division, of Irrigation and Waterways Department of West Bengal.
I am thankful to Mr. N. K. Singh, Executive Engineer, Basirhat Irrigation Division, Mr. T. K.
Chakraborty, Sub-Divisional Officer, Hingalganj Irrigation Sub-Division and Mr. S. Das, SubAssistant Engineer, Hingalganj Irrigation Sub-Division for their support, cooperation, and
motivation provided to me during the training period and for constant inspiration, presence and
I would also like to thank all the employees and staffs of Basirhat Irrigation Division and
Hingalganj Irrigation Sub-Division for their constant help and guidance in understanding the
various aspects of this training.
Lastly, I would like to thank the almighty and my parents for their moral support and my friends
with whom I shared my day-to-day experience and received lots of suggestions that improved
my quality of work.

Roll no. 27001313008



Practical knowledge means the visualization of the knowledge, which we read in our books. For
this, we perform experiments and get observations. Practical knowledge is very important in
every field. One must be familiar with the problems related to that field so that he/she may solve
them and become a successful person.
After achieving the proper goal in life, an engineer has to enter in professional life. According to
this life, he/she has to serve an industry, may be government or private sector or self-own. For
the efficient work in the field, he/she must be well aware of the practical knowledge as well as
theoretical knowledge.
To be a good engineer, one must be aware of the industrial environment and must know about
management, working in the industry, labor problems etc. so he/she can tackle them successfully.
Due to all the above reasons and to bridge the gap between theory and practical, our engineering
curriculum provides a practical training. During this period, a student gets experience and
knowledge about working in the practical field of his/her branch of engineering.
I have undergone my vocational training at Hingalganj Sub-Division, under Basirhat Division, of
Irrigation and Waterways Department of West Bengal.
This report is based on the knowledge, which I acquired during my training period at the










List of Contents



1.1.About the Department
1.3.About the Project: AILA



River Training
2.1. Objectives if River Training
2.2. Classification of River Training
2.3. Methods of River Training



Types of River Training Works

3.1. Embankments
3.2. Guide Banks or Bell Bunds
3.3. Spurs or Groynes
3.4. Bed Pitching and Bank Revetment
3.5. Dredging of River



River Bank Erosion

4.1. Introduction
4.2. Design Concept
4.3. Types of Structures Used in the River Bank Improvement
4.4. Choice of Methods



Training and Project Details




1. Introduction
1.1. About the Department.
Irrigation Department came into being in the year 1920, separating out from Public Works
Department and was named Irrigation & Waterways only in 1946. In the pre-plan period i.e.,
prior to 1951, irrigation was effected through Diversion Schemes on rivers Kangsabati and
Damodar. Irrigation potential created upto 1951 was of the order of 1,39,000 ha. Now the
department is entrusted with the task of providing irrigation facilities, offering reasonable
protection against flood, alleviating drainage congestion, arresting erosion, maintaining internal
navigation channels and up-keeping the natural waterways in the state. Since 1951 till date
several Major and Medium Irrigation Projects, number of Embankment Schemes, Town
protection Schemes, Drainage Schemes, Anti River Bank Erosion Schemes & Anti Sea - Erosion
Schemes have been taken up by the department. With the help of existing Rain Gauge stations
and River Gauge stations and collection of data and interaction with some relevant departments
like CWC, IMD etc., a Flood Warning System has been developed. The department has a Public
Relations & Statistical cell which publishes a news magazine "Sechpatra" both in Bengali &
English regularly.
I did my training at the Hingalganj (I) Sub-Division under Basirhat Irrigation Division.

1.2. Achievements.
The up-to-date achievements of the departments on several sectors are as follows:
Development of Irrigation Potential (Cumulative)
Upto 1947-1948
Upto 1955-1956
Upto 1960-1961
Upto 1965-1966
Upto 1973-1974
Upto 1979-1980
Upto 1984-1985
Upto 1989-1990
Upto 1996-1997
Upto 1999-2000

(Areas in Th. ha)


Development in Flood Control and Drainage in Five Decades



Area Protected From

(sq. km.)

Length of Embankment
Length of
No. of Towns
Drainage Channel Protected

1.3. About the project: AILA

Flood Management Scheme Reconstruction, Remodeling and Improvement of embankments in
Sundarban and adjoining areas in the districts of North & South 24-Parganas, West Bengal,
damaged by severe cyclone AILA being executed by Irrigation & Waterways Department,
Government of West Bengal.
Constitution of task forceby the Government of India:
In the aftermath of Aila, a Task Force on Restoration of Sundarban embankments damaged by
the cyclone Aila was constituted by the Union Ministry of Water Resources in May 2009.
The Irrigation & Waterways Department submitted a proposal to the Task Force for undertaking
reconstruction works of total 778 km length of embankment (177 km washed away or breached
and 601 km severely damaged) as short-term measures in its 2nd meeting and thereafter a Flood
Management Project has been formulated based generally on the recommendations of the Task
Categorization of works in the Project:
Depending on the nature of damage and methodology to be adopted for reconstruction /
improvement works, following six categories of execution have been considered.




Total straight length

(in Km)
Reconstruction of washed out sea dykes having Geo-tube core to 10.20
be filled by dredged sand from sea but embankments to be
constructed by local earth from countryside, along with block
pitching on sea-side slope.
Reconstruction of washed out river embankment in critical 28.80
locations (length in individual stretch around 1 km or more) by
dredged riverbed materials, along with block pitching on riverside
Reconstruction of washed out / breached river embankment at 137.90




other locations (length in individual stretch generally less than 1

km) by local earth from countryside, along with block pitching on
riverside slope.
Reconstruction / improvement of severely damaged sea dyke by 8.75
local earth from countryside, along with block pitching on seaside
Reconstruction / improvement of severely damaged river 477.10
embankment by local earth from countryside or other suitable
places and with block pitching on countryside slope, along with
block pitching on riverside slope.
Reconstruction / improvement of severely damaged river 115.00
embankment by local earth from countryside or other suitable
places but without block pitching on riverside slope.
778.00 Km

Total approved cost of the project = 5032.00 crores.

2. River Training
River training, in its wider aspects, covers all those engineering works which are constructed on
a river, so as to guide and confine the flow to the river channel, and to control and regulate the
river bed configuration, thus ensuring safe and effective disposal of floods and sediment loads.
Stabilising and training the river along a certain alignment with a suitable waterway is, therefore,
the first and foremost aim of river training.

2.1. Objectives of River Training.

The river training works may serve the following objectives or advantages:
(i) To prevent the river from changing its course and to avoid outflanking of structures like
bridges, weirs, aqueducts. Etc.
(ii) To prevent flooding of the surrounding countries by providing a safe passage for the
flood waters without overtopping the banks.
(iii) To protect the river banks by deflecting the river away from the attacked banks.
(iv) To ensure effective disposal of sediment load.
(v) To provide minimum water depth required for navigation.

2.2. Classification of River Training.

Depending upon the purpose for which a river training programme is undertaken, the river
training works may be classified into the following three categories:
(1) High water training or Training for discharge.
(2) Low water training or Training for depth.
(3) Mean water training or Training for sediment.
(1) High water training or Training for discharge. High water training is undertaken with
the primary purpose of flood control. It, therefore, aims at providing sufficient river cross-section
for the safe passage of maximum flood, and is concerned with making the adjoining are floodproof, by construction of dykes or levees, etc.
(2) Low water training or Training for depth. Low water training is undertaken with the
primary purpose of providing sufficient water depth in navigable channels during low water
periods. It may be accomplished by concentrating and enhancing the flow in the desired channel
by closing other channels, by the process of bandalling by contracting the width of the channel
with the help of groynes, etc.
(3) Mean water training or Training for sediment. Mean water training aims at efficient
disposal of suspended load and bed load, and thus, preserving the channel in good shape. The
maximum accretion capacity of a river occurs in the vicinity of mean water or dominant

discharge. Therefore, the changes in the river bed are attempted in accordance with that stage of
flood flow. The mean water training is the most important type and forms the basis on which the
former two are planned.

2.3. Methods of River Training.

The chief aim of river training is to achieve ultimate stability of the river with the aid of rivertraining measures. The stability of a river does not mean that changes like scouring and silting of
bed, advancement of delta into the sea, etc., will not take place. It only means that the river
attains an equilibrium stage, and no significant change occurs in its alignment, slope, regime, etc.
The regime may change within a year but shows little variation from year to year, except that,
the river may meander within its khadirs (i.e. the extreme lines within which the river is ever
known to wander).
A river adjusts its alignment, perimeter, area, slope, etc., with respect to the discharge and
sediment load, either by aggrading, meandering or by degrading. Aggrading and meandering is
one and the same thing except that aggrading is the initial stage and meandering is the final
It may be concluded that meandering type is the full and final development of an alluvial river.
The other two types are the interim phases and are maintained so long as the factors causing
them remain operative. Aggrading rivers are, therefore, not equally amenable to river training on
account of their instability. River training works undertaken on aggrading or degrading rivers
may, therefore, fail to impose any stability on such rivers. For example, bank protection works
undertaken on an aggrading river may either be destroyed by severe erosion or get buried under
sediment deposition. Soil conservation measures in the upper reaches and construction of check
dams on tributaries are the most effective measures to be undertaken for controlling aggrading
rivers, before taking up any river training works on such rivers. Similarly, the training works
undertaken on degrading rivers may fail due to scour and undermining of foundation by bed
scour. The scouring tendency of degrading rivers must be controlled by building cross bars,
weirs, etc., before attempting any other river training works on such rivers.
The following are the generally adopted methods for training rivers, including bank protection:
(1) Embankments
(2) Guide Banks or Bell Bunds
(3) Spurs or Groynes
(4) Bed Pitching and Bank Revetment
(5) Dredging of River

3. Types of River Training Works

3.1. Embankments.
The floods may be prevented from submerging the country by constructing earth embankments.
They are generally constructed up to a height of 12 m. They are designed and constructed in the
same way as an earth dam. The embankments are generally constructed parallel to the river
Depending upon the position of the embankments subdivisions made are:
(1) Marginal embankments or dykes or levees,
(2) Retired embankments.
The marginal embankments are constructed as close to the banks as possible to restrict the flood
water from submerging the area behind them. Figure 3.1 shows the position of marginal

Figure 3.1.Marginal embankments or levees

They are designed to hold up the water up to a maximum anticipated HFL without the possibility
of overtopping and with a view to withstand all external pressures. This condition is met with by
providing sufficient freeboard, bed width, top width and stone protection on adequate slopes.
As the height of the embankment increases it becomes necessary to provide key treach, zoned
section etc., to make the embankment stable. Like earth dams embankments are also likely to fail
due to overtopping, piping, rat holes, seepage and caving in of river side sloping face. It is
therefore necessary to adopt adequate sections for various heights.
The following sections are generally adopted for various heights. (Fig.3.2. a, b, c):

Figure 3.2.Sections of marginal embankments

Advantages of Embankments:
(i) They are very widely used river training work.
(ii) It is cheaper and quick as well as simple in construction. They can be constructed with
locally available material.
(iii) Maintenance of embankments is similar to canal bank maintenance and does not
involve intricate methods.
(iv) Embankment can be constructed reach by reach to extend extent of protection.
(v) They protect large areas by comparatively small investment.
Disadvantages of Embankments:
(i) By restricting the waterway it raises the flood levels.
(ii) Unpredictable flood flows attack the embankment and hence chances of its failure are
quite high.
(iii) During flood constant vigil is required on the embankments. It increases cost of
(iv) They interfere in laying irrigation canal system and also reduce cultivable area.
Retired embankments are constructed at a distance from the river banks. Thus retired
embankments are the intermediate type between the case of marginal embankments and river
with no embankments. Retired embankments are generally constructed on a lower ground away
from the banks.

Though they are costly due to increased height and risky, they have some mentionable
(i) They do not interfere in the process of raising of the ground by deposition of silt.
(ii) They make it possible to store more water for longer period.
(iii) They provide wider waterway in times of high floods.

3.2. Guide Banks or Bell Bunds.

Rivers in flood plains submerge very large areas during flood periods. Naturally when some
structure is to be constructed across such a river (for example, bridge, weir, etc.), it is very
expensive to construct the work spanning whole width of the river. To economies some training
work may be constructed to confine the flow of water within a reasonable waterway.
Guide banks are meant for guiding and confining the flow in a reasonable waterway at the site of
the structure. The design of the guide banks is based on the theory developed by Mr. Bells.
Hence, guide banks are also known as Bells bunds. This river training work has been devised
from a study of the natural river channel in alluvial reach.
The river has a tendency to meander over large width of low lying land thereby flooding it
occasionally. But it was observed that the same stream passes through narrow and deep sections
where high and stiff permanent banks are available on either side without appreciable afflux or
abnormal velocity.
The guide banks guide the river flow past a bridge or any other hydraulic structure without
causing damage to the work and its approaches. The guide banks are constructed parallel or
approximately parallel to the direction of flow. They extend both upstream and downstream of
the abutments of the hydraulic structure. The guide banks may be provided on either side of the
hydraulic structure or on one side as required.
The guide banks consist of four parts mainly:
(i) Upstream curved head or impregnable head,
(ii) Downstream curved head,
(iii) Shank or a straight portion which joins the two curved heads, and
(iv) Slope and bed protection, it includes apron.
Generally the core of the bund is built with sand. The sloping faces are protected with stones. An
apron is also provided for protecting the bed against scouring. Sufficient freeboard and top width
are also provided. The curved heads are laid with adequate curvature.

Guide banks mainly serve two purposes:

(i) They protect the approach embankment for the bridge from attack of the water. Approach
embankments extend from the bank of the river to the guide banks generally in perpendicular
direction to both.
(ii) They control the river and induce it to flow through the bridge more or less axially.
Selection of Site and Section of Guide Banks:
The site for guide banks should be selected in such a way that there is no side channel flowing
parallel to the guide banks. The side channel if present may breach the approach embankment.
The guide banks should be so designed that no swirls are produced.
The top width of bank should not be less than 3 m. Side slopes should be 2:1 and free board 1.25
to 1.50 meters. While providing the free board due weightage should be given for heading up of
the water and also for settlement of banks (generally 10 per cent of height). The inside slope
should be protected with stone pitching and outside slope with good earth.
The waterway is given by Laceys regime perimeter formula:
Pw = 4.825 Q1/2
Where, Pw is waterway in metres and
Q is discharge in cubic metres/sec.
The length of upstream part of the guide bank should be 10 per cent more than the length of a
bridge or any other structure between the abutments. The length of downstream part of the guide
bank should be 1/5 of the structure. (Figure 3.3)

Figure 3.3.Dimensions of guide banks

The radius of curvature of the upstream curved head should be such as not to cause intense
eddies. The radius of downstream curved head may be kept half that of upstream curved head.
The heads should be curved well round to the back of the guide bank. Upstream curved head
generally subtends an angle from 120 to 145 to the centre and downstream head from 45 to
90. The upstream curved head is also called impregnable head.
To protect the face of the guide bank at the river bed level a thick stone cover is laid on the bed.
It is called an apron. When the scour undermines the river bed the apron comes down or launches
to cover the face of the scour. Hence it is called Launching apron also. The quantity of stone in
the apron should be adequate to insure complete protection of the scoured face. Figure 3.4 shows
the details of a guide bank. After launching, the apron does not remain uniform in thickness.

Figure 3.4.Details of guide bank

Generally apron thickness is kept 1.25 times thickness of the pitching. For rivers in which deep
scour is likely to take place thickness of the apron may be increased to 1.5 times.


3.3. Spurs or Groynes.

A groyne is a rigid hydraulic structure built from a bank, in rivers, that interrupts water flow and
limits the movement of sediment. It is usually made out of wood, concrete or stone.
River groynes (spur dykes, wing dykes, or wing dams) are often constructed nearly
perpendicular to the riverbanks, beginning at a riverbank with a root and ending at the regulation
line with a head. They maintain a channel to prevent ice jamming, and more generally improve
navigation and control over lateral erosion, that would form from meanders.
Groynes serve following purposes:
(i) They protect the river bank by keeping the flow away from it.
(ii) They create still pond along a particular bank with the aim of silting up the area in the
(iii) They train the river to flow along a desired course by attracting, deflecting or repelling
the flow.
(iv) They contract the wide river channel for improving the navigation depth.
Classification of Groynes:
Various classifications of spurs or groynes may be given as mentioned below:
(i) Classification according to the method of construction.
(1) Permeable, and
(2) Impermeable.
(ii) Classification according to the height of the spur below high water.
(1) Submersible, and
(2) Non-submersible.
(iii) Classification according to the functions served.
(1) Attracting type,
(2) Deflecting type,
(3) Repelling type, and
(4) Sedimenting type.
(iv) Special type.
For example, Denehys T headed groynes. Hockey spurs, etc. When a river is to be confined to
a definite channel impermeable type of groyne is most suitable. For excessively silt-laden rivers
permeable groynes are suitable. The groynes may be used singly or in series or in combination
with other training work depending upon the problem in hand.
When training or protection is to be given over a long and straight river reach groynes are used in
series. Spacing of 2 to 2.5 times the length of groynes is a general practice. In a curved reach

river can be trained by limited number of spurs. They can also be used in combination with other
training measures.
Impermeable Groynes:
The groynes may be aligned either perpendicular to the bank or inclined, pointing upstream or
downstream. When a groyne points upstream then it is called a repelling groyne. The reason
being, this type has a property of repelling the river flow away from the bank (Figure 3.5). This
is accomplished by creation of a still pond on the upstream. Obviously the river starts following
beyond the still pond and in the process the river flow goes away from the bank.

Figure 3.5.Repelling groyne

On the contrary, when a groyne points downstream it is called an attracting groyne as. It attracts
the river flow towards the bank from which it takes off (Figure 3.6).

Figure 3.6.Attracting groyne

In this case the groyne actually provides a body against which the river current keeps hugging.
The river flow thus remains along the bank permanently. When a groyne of short length is taken
perpendicular to the bank, it only deflects the flow locally. Hence, it is called deflecting groyne
(Figure 3.7).

Figure 3.7.Deflecting groyne


After successfully conducting model experiments various designs for groyne heads have been
evolved. A groyne with head normal to the groyne direction of called T headed groyne (Figure

Figure 3.8.Special types of spurs or groynes

From this it is clear that deflecting, repelling, attracting, T headed, hockey type, etc., all come
under the impermeable type of groynes. The section of groyne is like a guide bund or an
embankment (Figure 3.9). It is protected on both sides by stone pitching or concrete blocks etc.
At the river bed launching apron is also provided. Top of spur is generally kept 3 m wide. Side
slopes of 2:1 are general practice. The spurs are built by sand, gravel and boulders.

Figure 3.9.Details of spur or groyne


Permeable Groynes:
Common type of permeable groynes are tree groynes and pile groynes. They are temporary in
nature and get washed away during floods. Therefore they are constructed every time before
floods. A tree groyne consists of a thick wire rope (2.5 cm dia) firmly anchored at one end to the
bank and tied at the other to a heavy buoy. Sometimes this wire may be stretched across the river
and anchored at its ends. It may be supported at intermediate points on tripods.
Entire leafy trees are taken and about 30 cm up the stem a hole is drilled through each tree. Then
an iron ring is drawn through the whole and attached to the wire rope. Dimensions of trees may
vary from 6 to 12 m in height and 0.50 to 1.2 m in girth.
A pile groyne consists of a series of piles driven 6 to 9 m into the bed 2.5 m to 3 m apart. There
may be two or three rows. The rows are spaced 1 to 2 m apart. Each row is closely intertwined
by brushwood branches. For stability upstream row is braced to the downstream row by
transverse laterals and diagonals.
The permeable groynes lower the velocity of flow. As a result sedimentation occurs. Hence
permeable groynes may be said to be of segmenting type according to the function served. The
cost of construction of this type is about 40 per cent that of impermeable type of same length.
This type of groynes may be constructed even if there is flow in the river. Thus construction is
easy and rapid.
To summarise, the factors which influence the choice and design of groynes are:
(i) Fall and velocity of flow in the river.
(ii) Character of bed load carried by the river.
(iii) Depth of waterway, maximum HFL and nature of flood hydrograph.
(iv) Width of waterway, at high water, low water, and mean water.
(v) Availability of funds and construction materials.

3.4. Bed Pitching and Bank Revetment.

Sometimes to protect the bed and bank against action of water, protection is provided by laying a
closely packed stone blocks or boulders or even concrete blocks. This permanent revetment and
pitching counteracts the general tendency of the water to notch away the material from bed and


3.5. Dredging of River.

To improve navigability of the river channel the river section may need to be excavated. This
excavation is carried out to increase the depth of flow even when there is flow m the river. The
process of underwater excavation is termed dredging. The machinery used for the purpose is
called a dredger. Various types of dredgers are in use for example, dipper dredger, grab dredger,
bucket dredger, suction dredger etc. Figure 3.10 (a, b, c, d) shows various types of dredgers.

Figure 3.10.Types of dredger

Types of Dredgers:
(1)Bucket or Grab Dredger: It is essentially a stiff leg derrick, or crane fitted with bucket
and these are mounted on a barge or a self propelled vessel. The buckets are of various weight
for different kind of material to be dredged. These also have two types of cutting edges (plain
and toothed). The material is either loaded in the hopper in the vessel (in case of large dredger)
or dumped in hopper barges or flat barges for transporting to dumping places. The dredgers are
kept in desired place with the help of anchors and three spuds provided in the dredger. The
capacity of bucket varies from one cubic metre to eight cubic metres.
(2)Dipper Dredger: This consists of a floating power shovel and except for the dragging
equipment; it is same as a Grab dredger. It is used when material is hard such as soft rock,
boulders and requires breaking.
(3)Ladder Dredger: This consists of a series of buckets attached to an endless chain
operating around sheaves at each end of the frame. This type of dredger is suitable for dredging

silt, mud and sand. When self propelled and provided with hopper the material is filled in hopper
and carried away for dumping. Generally two units of hopper barges and tugs are used to carry
the material when continuous operation is necessary and the dumping ground is far off.
Generally these dredgers are not provided with hoppers so that draft could be reduced.
(4)Suction Cutter Head Dredger: It has a rotary cutter head which carves clay, breaks off
chunks of soft rock such as coral and shale and stirs up gravel and sand so that the pipe carries
material to its capacity. The cutter diameter ranges from 1 to 3 m and the cutter speed is 25 to 30
rpm. Impeller diameter of the pump range from 75 to 240 cm and pump power 100 HP to 5000
HP with pump speed varying 600 rpm to 140 rpm. The dredger is provided with large spuds
round or square for anchoring. The process of dredging is very costly and should be adopted only
when the situation demands it seriously.


4. River Bank Erosion

4.1. Introduction.
Erosion and sedimentation are natural phenomenon and processes, but often are in conflict with
our use of the shorelines and river banks. The most noticeable problem created by erosion is the
loss of waterfront i.e. river banks property. Wind velocity, duration, and the expanse of open
water the wind blows over are the predominant factors generating waves that attack and erode
the river banks. The basic progression of erosion resulting from wave action includes:
(i) Attack by waves.
(ii) Erosion of a bank causing undercutting.
(iii) Slumping of the bank.
(iv) Removal, transportation, and deposition of the bank sediments along the shoreline.
Depending on the size and condition of each eroded part and the water flow / discharge and its
velocity in the river, a particular protection method has to be employed.

4.2. Design Concept.

Important factors for designing and selecting the suitable protection types are:
(i) The eroded bank length.
(ii) Proper alignment (to avoid flow disturbance).
(iii) Proper land use (especially upland the protected area).
(iv) The design should be friendly with the environment.
(v) Availability of the suitable construction materials such as stone size, quality and
(vi) Suitable filter layer/geotextile separator to prevent migration of base materials through
(vii) Back fill (fine sand, silt and clay with proper compaction).
(viii) Water elevation (the protection should be at least one meter above maximum water
(ix) Slope should not be steeper than 3 horizontal and 2 vertical (340) for better stability

4.3. Types of Structures Used in the River Bank Improvement.

Few basic types of structures are designed to stabilize a bank such as different filter structures
and wall structures. Filter structures reduce the level of the wave's strength while keeping soil

from passing through to the water. Wall structures are impervious vertical walls that separate the
natural shoreline from water and wave action. The success of each type depends upon adequate
design and construction.
(1) Stone Revetment as Filter Type Structure: Filter type structures are designed to reduce
the energy of the incoming waves and water flow as they strike the river banks, while at the same
time, hold the soil beneath it in place. Filtering qualities result from the use of layers of varying
sized stone and other materials. In construction, the bank is first graded to achieve the shape
required for the structure being installed. A filter cloth / geotextile separator is placed on and
attached to the graded bank. This cloth is similar in weave and texture to tightly woven burlap
but is made of a non-deteriorating plastic. On top of the layer of filter cloth a six to eight inch
layer of stone is placed. This layer of stone holds the filter cloth in place and becomes the bottom
layer of the actual structure. A variety of outer layers are then placed on top of the stone. This
type of structure is preferred to bulkheads where groundwater is part of the erosion process.
A stone revetment is constructed by placing progressively larger blocks or pieces of stone
on filter cloth or fine gravel. The armor layer must be stable against movement.

Figure 4.1.Stone Revetment

(2) Gabions as Wall Structures: Gabions are rectangular wire baskets filled with stone.
Gabions are very versatile and they may be used as revetments, groins and offshore breakwaters.
There are different types of gabions such as mattresses and upper level baskets. Mattresses
are baskets which are usually 9 to 12 inches thick and provide a foundation for the upper level
baskets. Upper level baskets should be about 6, 9, and 12 feet in lengths and 1, 1.5, and 3 feet in
At the construction site, gabion baskets are unfolded and assembled by lacing the basket
edges together with wire. Individual baskets are then laced together, stretched, and filled with
stone. The lids are closed and then wired to other baskets. The result is a large heavy mass that is
not as easily moved by waves or current as single stones might be. Generally, gabion walls are
suitable on sites where bulkheads or revetments are acceptable.


Figure 4.2.Gabion Basket

Gabions are suggested for use in brackish and freshwater environments, where corrosion of
the wire will be minimal. The baskets should be staggered and joined, much like the courses of a
brick wall, in order to form a stronger structure. It is also recommended that the end of the
mattresses be anchored with large stones or anchor screws. Damage to the baskets should be
repaired immediately. Missing stones should also be replaced from time to time to maintain a
tightly packed basket. This will minimize stone movement which can cause abrasion damage to
the basket wires. The main advantage is that the construction of gabions may be accomplished
without heavy equipment. The structure is flexible and continues to function properly even if the
foundation settles. Adding stones to the baskets is an easy maintenance procedure. The cost of
using gabions may be low compared to other protection methods depending on the distance of
the stone from the job site.
(3) Concrete Blocks Revetment: This type of protection is composite of small blocks of
concrete which are placed on the banks slide over a filter / geotextile separator. It is usually used
when the stone are not available or expensive. The blocks founded on dumped stones may be
prone to foundation failure.


Figure 4.3.Concrete Blocks Revetment

(4) Stone Gabion Mattress: Mattresses made of heavy galvanized (or polyethylene) meshes;
typically one meter wide with a thickness of 20cm to 25 cm is laid on top of a stone toe. The
backfilled slope should be first covered with a filter layer/geotextile separator. The mattress is
filled with relatively small size stones covered with mesh and wired together.

Figure 4.4.Gabion Mattress

However, this method of protection will suffer from scouring of damped stones toe at high
flow velocities which leads to foundation failure.
(5) Sack Revetment: Jute sacks filled with sand and / or soil have been widely used for
emergency flood protection. Sacks from plastic and other materials are also used recently.


Sometimes soil-cement or sand-cement mixture is used to fill the sacks. This type of protection
although is inexpensive, but it is less durable and prone to foundation failure by scouring.

Figure 4.5.Sack Revetment

(6) Concrete Counterfort Wall Systems: These types of reinforced concrete retaining wall
are well suited for retaining materials having height more than 7.0m. Both the base slab and face
of wall span horizontally between the counterforts and the upright and heel slabs do not act as
the cantilever but act as continuous slabs supported by the counterforts. The counterforts are
spaced at intervals and act as tension members to support the stem. A counterfort retaining wall
is very similar to a cantilever wall, except that this type of retaining wall has a triangular shaped
wall that connects the top of the wall to the back of the footer. This is necessary added support.
The wall is hidden within the earthen or gravel backfill of the wall. The footer, retaining wall and
support wall must be tied together with reinforcing steel. The support walls add a great deal of
strength to the retaining wall and make it virtually impossible for the wall to become detached
from the footer. Usually, the aspect ratio of height to span (H / L) is about 1.0 and considering
expansion / contraction problems, the length of the walls should be between 25m to 30m.
Counterfort walls can be used effectively for river banks protection against erosion where the
river is very deep. For longer length of river bank, the counterfort walls may be connected
together by anti-rust steel hooks.


Figure 4.6.Counterfort Retaining Wall

4.4. Choice of Methods.

Depending on the slope, types of soil of the river bank, amount of discharge, and velocity of the
flow, appropriate method of improvement has to be employed. In cases of river banks with mild
slope and shallow depth of water in the river, methods such as concrete blocks revetment, and
stone gabion mattress, are recommended. Sack revetments are widely used for emergency flood
protection. In rivers with bulkheads where groundwater is also part of the erosion stone
revetment will be appropriate. In cases where the depth of water is more with bulkheads gabion
wall structures is a preferred solution. When the depth of water in the river is more than 7.0m
reinforced concrete counterfort wall will a more appropriate solution to prevent bank erosion.


5. Training and Project Details

Hingalganj (I) is a Sub-Division under Basirhat Irrigation Division. Two of their ongoing works
are the construction of river embankment at Mouza-Kalutala and the AILA project at MouzaChalkkhanpur.
During my training period, I was permitted to visit both the ongoing work sites as a part of my
training programme. I was told to visit the work sites to understand the practical and technical
field of Civil Engineering projects.
I was explained the whole process of construction of embankment how in the very beginning
the soil is placed at the site, layer by layer and then compacted and properly dressed to maintain
the slope and also taking care that no loose soil remains in the final structure and how other
construction processes are carried out.
Based on my understanding of the ongoing work, I was told to generate an AutoCAD drawing of
the cross section of the structures of both sites.

Details about the construction sites are given below:

(1)At first I went to the Mouza-Kalutala site. This site is along the right bank of river

Figure 5.1.Site: Mouza-Kalutala at the bank of Ichamoti


The embankment is divided into two parts River Side and Country Side. The slope of the
embankment at the river side is 2.5:1 and that of at the country side is 2:1.

Figure 5.2.The Embankment

At the top of the embankment there is a roadway of 3000mm wide which is at 6600mm above
the datum line of the embankment. The ground level is at 2000mm above the datum line. There
is a toe sausage of 900mm x 900mm at the river side, and supported by bullah piling of length
5000mm @ 500mm c/c.

Figure 5.3.Bullah Pilling

Figure 5.4.Toe Sausage

Work of Toe Sausage: This is mainly used to stabilize the toe of the bank of the river and the
slope of the embankment.

Work of Bullah Piling: This is basically used the same way as sheet piling, that is to enable
permanent work to proceed. In this case, bullah piling is done so that during deep excavations the
soil of the slope doesnt disturb the work.
Along the slope of river side, where the soil is already compacted, for protection of bank from
erosion, lining work with brick blocks of size 530mm x 530mm x 250mm is pitched over a layer
of Jhama-Khoa filter bed, 150mm thick. The brick block is masoned with cement-sand mortar.

Figure 5.5.Jhama-Khoa Filter

Figure 5.6.Brick Blocks


Technical Details:
Name of the scheme.


Raising, Strengthening and Improvement of Sundarban embankment

including armouring with 25 cm. thick Brick Block Pitching on right
bank of river Ichamati at Mouza-Kalutala ,in between ch. 8.200km. to
8.4500km. Block, P.S. & G.P. Hasnabad, District of North 24-Parganas
in Hasnabad section of Hingalganj (I) subdivision, under Basirhat
Irrigation Division.



Ichamati. (Major River)



On the right bank of river Ichamati at Mouza Kalutala in P.S. & Block
Hasnabad, in the District of North 24-Parganas.

Length proposed to be


250.00 Metre.

Av. Ground Level.


2.000 M. (G.T.S.)

Highest tide level.


4.50 M. (G.T.S.)

Lowest tide level.


(-)1.20 M. (G.T.S.)

Mean tide level.

1.50 M. (G.T.S.)

Av. Rate of Erosion.


3.50 M. Per year (Approx.)

Crest level of Pitching.


6.60 M. (G.T.S.)

Crest width of


3.00 M.



4 in 1

River side Slope.



Country Side Slope.




(2)I afterward went to a site of similar nature of work at the Mouza-Chalkkhanpur which is
along the left bank of river Dansa. This site is under the AILA project.

Figure 5.7.Site: Mouza-Chalkkhanpur at the bank of river Dansa

Here also the embankment is divided into two parts River Side and Country Side. The slope of
the embankment at the river side is 3:1 and that of at the country side is 2:1.

Figure 5.8.Embankment Work in Progress

At the top of the embankment there is a roadway of 4000mm wide which is at 6800mm above
the datum line of the embankment. Here also the ground level is at 2000mm above the datum
line. There is a toe sausage of 1000mm x 1000mm at the river side. Along the slope of river side,
where the soil is already compacted, for protection of bank from erosion, lining work with brick
blocks of size 530mm x 530mm x 250mm is pitched over a layer of Polypropylene filter. The
brick block is masoned with cement-sand mortar.


Figure 5.9.Brick Block Pitching over Polypropylene Filter

Work of Polypropylene filter: Polypropylene or Geotextile filter is used to hold the brick blocks
properly and also to not let water enter the soil beneath it, if river water ever enters the pores inbetween the brick blocks during high tides.
Along the slope of country side, where also the soil is compacted, Geo-jute is placed at a depth
of 127mm (5 inches) from the finished slope of embankment. Turfing work is done on the top of
the embankment slope at country side to prevent the erosion of soil.

Figure 5.10.Geo-jute


Technical Details:
Name of the scheme.


Reconstruction, remodeling and improvement of embankments in

Sundarbans and adjoining areas in the District of North & South 24
Parganas, West Bengal damaged by severe cyclone "AILA". Contract
package no. 36BI at left embankment of river Dansa at MouzaChalkkhanpur, Block & P.S. - Hasnabad, for length of 0.503K.M. under
Basirhat (I) Division. (Category 2B & 1C).






On the Left bank of river Dansa at Mouza-Chalkkhanpur in P.S Hasnabad & Block Hasnabad, in the District of North 24-Parganas.

Length proposed to be


503 Metre.

Av. Ground Level.


2.000 M. (G.T.S.)

Highest tide level.


4.50 M. (G.T.S.)

Lowest tide level.


(-)1.20 M. (G.T.S.)

Av. Rate of Erosion.


5.00 M. Per year (Approx.)

Crest level of Pitching.


6.80 M. (G.T.S.)

Crest width of


4.00 M.



4 in 1

River side Slope.



Country Side Slope.





During this training period, I understood the implication of the theories, which I had studied till
now, into the practical works. I saw how the work is done at the construction sites and the
processes involved in the construction of structures. I am highly benefited from this training.
I am certain that the knowledge and experience gained from this training will help me in the