No fear of cold

Bazgo, the only power project in arid Ladakh desert that is functional in winters but shuts down during springs to spare water for irrigation. A Kashmir Life report.

Bazgo Mini Hydel Project, which is fed by Bazgo Nallah and a few hot water springs, manages to run in sub-zero temperatures too.
Bazgo Mini Hydel Project, which is fed by Bazgo Nallah and a few hot water springs, manages to run in sub-zero temperatures too.

Known for housing one of the oldest Monasteries in Ladakh, Bazgo is a small village located just off the main Kargil – Leh highway. It was once the main cultural and political centre of Namgyal rulers in early 17th century. Basgo or Bazgo Monastery, situated on a hilltop, overlooks the whole village. Other than being famous for its Gompa, Bazgo is the only Mini Hydel Project in entire Ladakh region which runs during winters.

Unlike other projects in Ladakh region which are shut down during winters because of heavy decline in water discharge. Bazgo Mini Hydel Project, which is fed by Bazgo Nallah and a few hot water springs, manages to run in sub-zero temperatures too.

Commissioned in 1994, Bazgo has two turbines of 150 KW each, but because of obsolete Hydro mechanical bell drive governors, it is highly prone to breakdowns.

However the main source of water during summers is Bazgo Nallah only. But during winters hot spring water is channelled into one of the turbines to keep it functional. The total discharge of water required for production of one unit of electricity is 339 litres per second.

Both the turbines are turbo type with hydro mechanical bell drive governors installed by Jyoti Ltd. Vadodra, Gujrat. During irrigation season Bazgo is shut down for three months as the water from Bazgo Nallah is diverted for irrigation purpose. The villages surrounding Bazgo Project are relatively fertile and produce apricots, wheat, barley and apples as agriculture is the main source of livelihood there. However during these months all four villages connected with Bazgo Mini Hydel Project – Nay, Likir, Bazgo and Saspotsey are fed by a diesel generator installed at Choglamsar.

SERC has put its cost at Rs 3.00 crore and its tariff at Rs 3.26 per unit. The project generated 2.81 lakh units in 2010-11 and 5.95 lakh units in 2011-12.

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