Watermill based energy for enterprise development in remote villages in Chamoli, Uttarakhand - Need experiences and inputs

From B. M. Kandpal, SIMAR, District Chamoli, Uttaranchal
Posted 29 September 2006

Our agency works in remote villages of Higher Himalayas of Chamoli district of Uttaranchal, characterized by mountainous terrain.

The economy is subsistence based due to rainfed agriculture, poor marketable surplus and inadequate development of industrial infrastructure. However, there also exist tremendous opportunities in organic products, medicinal and aromatic plants, fruits, off-season vegetables and Eco-tourism. Additionally, there are numerous watermills which can become prime-movers for local enterprises, if upgraded for power generation.

We are in the process of preparing a proposal for a project for upgrading traditional watermills into power generating units (0.5 to 5 KW) for livelihood promotion. Expected components are likely to be identification, technical pre-feasibility of watermill sites, economic pre-feasibility and capacity building of village communities and entrepreneurs in maintenance of watermills and running enterprises.

In the above context, I request members to please give inputs on the following:

  • Experiences and precautions from other states in implementing and institutionalizing decentralised energy based livelihood promotion projects.
  • Advice on kinds of small enterprises, which can be set up using power generated and where these machines are available.
  • Manufacturers of machines for food processing (flourmill, etc.), fruit processing (driers, juicers, peelers, pulpers, etc.), oil expellers, and distillation units known to members
  • Funding sources i.e. government agencies, donors, foundations who may be interested in supporting such a project.

Please see attachment below for the responses.