KHUNGRU VILLAGE IN LADAKH GETS ELECTRICITY
Access to energy in the mountains of India has remained an issue for many years, however with off-grid renewable energy solutions becoming an option for electrification through the last decade, many homes in the mountainous regions are now benefiting from the small hydro programme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). MNRE under the pico hydro projects and the upgradation of water mills programme sanctioned several numbers for implementation in the Leh District of Jammu & Kashmir, which has been a visible change for the people living in the remote mountain valleys of Ladakh.
One such village is Khungru, located in the high mountains of the Nubra Valley, where providing access to energy had been a challenging task. The residents of Khungru, in their past remained more or less without electricity, and much of the daily activities were tied to the rising and setting of the sun. The Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency (LREDA), the nodal agency of the MNRE in Leh District, provided the 12 households with a solution for electrification through pico-hydro projects. The community showed great interest and curiosity for the solutions and whole-heartedly supported the installation of a picohydro system. The village, having good access to water was suitable for such a project. Under the guidance of LREDA engineers, the community built a canal system for the picohydro equipment. With the aid of the government subsidy provided by the MNRE under the programme and the contribution of the beneficiary share from the residents of Khungru, the 5 kW pico-hydro project was successfully commissioned by LREDA. The project has been providing uninterrupted power supply to the village since. Tsering Nurboo, one of the residents of Khungru village has been delighted that the pico-hydro project was commissioned, and stated that the energy would drastically improve the quality of life and add to the hopes of the younger generation in the village. He also added that the Losar festival, the New Year’s festival in Ladakh would be a cheerful one in Khungru with the woes of energy issues out of the way.
Under the guidance of LREDA engineers, the community built a canal system for the pico-hydro equipment. With the aid of the government subsidy provided by the MNRE under the programme and the contribution of the beneficiary share from the residents of Khungru, the 5 kW pico-hydro project was successfully commissioned by LREDA. The project has been providing uninterrupted power supply to the village since.
LREDA through the MNRE sanctioned special package titled the ‘Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative’ is also under the process of executing several relatively large-sized micro hydro projects in the region that will see the energy access realize for many of the villages in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh in the near future. The Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative project, already at an advanced stage, has been witness to development and improvement in the quality of life through the use of renewable energy. Renewable energy is making an impact, permeating into the households in the form of electricity through off-grid hydro and solar projects and solar thermal systems.