To reach Hunder village, one has to pass through the famous cold desert of Nubra valley where the double humped camels roam freely along a small source of fresh water, reminding one of lost ancient silk route legacy.
The road that leads to Hunder Mini Hydel Project is dotted with different sized Stupas adding beauty to the place. About 130 kilometres from Leh town, Hunder village is rich in wheat, barley, fodder, vegetables, apples and apricots etc.
The Hunder Project provides electricity to around 1000 households in six villages of Terchey, Hunder, Skuru, Skampuk, Partha and Diskit. However during summers because of high tourist inflow in the Nubra valley, the Hunder effectively provides electricity to only four of the total six connected villages. Commissioned on October 15, 1995, Hunder has two Francis type turbines of 250 KW each, which need a discharge of 820 litres per second per turbine. The source of discharge is Hunder Nallah. However Hunder is closed for at least three months during winters – December, January and February as the discharge is low. During this time these six villages are provided electricity from diesel generator sets only.
The project was taken up under RMU at an estimated cost of rupees 177 lacs. The civil structure of the project was damaged badly in August 2010 floods, however, the power house and the machinery were saved from damages.
The turbines installed at Hunder are Francis type, while governing system is obsolete and snag-prone. The main agriculture season in the region is from April to October, during that time the water from Hunder Nallah is diverted for irrigation purposes. During irrigation season all six villages are electrified by a diesel generator (DG) set of 250 KVA installed at Diskit. The DG set is run for four hours during irrigation time from 7 to 11 p.m. However during winters when Hunder Project is closed, the villagesget power supply from DG set from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
“Hunder Nallah does not have any major siltation issues but the area is flood prone,” said Amjad Khan, JE in-charge, Hunder. The headwork canal leading to main power house is damaged at several places. “It is because of a bridge being constructed by PWD that is causing issues with the canal,” added Khan.
SERC has put its cost at Rs 1.66 crore and its tariff at Rs 2.58 per unit. The project generated 5.89 lakh units in 2010-11 and 7.73 lakh units in 2011-12.