Watermills set to light up villages in northeastern India

Dehra Dun: Watermills, in use in the mountains since time immemorial, will now remove darkness in India's northeastern region. In an ambitious plan, HESCO, a voluntary organisation based here, will install them in Nagaland and Manipur as part of its `technology-for-peace' programme, in association with the Indian Army.

The watermill is an eco-friendly device that can harness water power to grind wheat and generate 5 to 8 kW of electricity. There are two lakh watermills in the Himalayan region. According to an estimate prepared by HESCO, they can generate 2500 MW of power in the Himalayan region.

This is also seen as an answer to big and expensive dams which often uproot thousands of people.

HESCO director Anil P. Joshi has devised a simple, inexpensive and environment-friendly technology kit that can upgrade watermills into micro-hydel projects.

HESCO is running a training centre at Mehuwala here. People from Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have been trained in watermills. "We are now focussing our attention on Nagaland and Manipur... We will install watermills in these States," Mr. Joshi said.

HESCO has expertise in watermill technology. Jointly with the Army, it has installed nearly 360 watermills in the border villages of Jammu and Kashmir. PTI