Installation of Improved Water Mills in Kargil

Funding Agency:
Integrated Rural Energy Project, Jammu

Year of installation:

The improvement of traditional water mill (locally known as Rantak) is done by improving various components of the traditional mill. But, most significant is the replacement of the traditional wooden runner with a hydraulically better-shaped metallic runner that has cup shaped blades. This increases its operational efficiency as well as making it more useful with additional machines for hulling and electricity generation etc.

Multi-purpose tractors fuelled by diesel are gradually penetrating into different corners of Ladakh for hulling and grinding grains (wheat and barley). In addition to polluting the local environment, these diesel mills disturb the self-reliant economy of the villages, leading to increase in dependency on imported machinery and diesel.

New and improved designs of water mills have been developed by LEDeG for mechanical as well as electricity generation of 3kVa to 5kVa. LEDeG is propagating these mills for electricity generation to meet small scale electrical requirements in the villages. The improved water mills have decreased family’s workload; in earlier days they spent at least 4 to 5 days at the old mill to grind flour for food supply at household level.


  • Initiated in 2009 by the IREP, Science and Technology Department, this “Improved Water Mill Project” aims to set up income generation facilities in Kargil. The focus is on the revival of the traditional water mill by increasing the capacity of grinding and finally increasing the income of the local communities.
  • The improvement of the traditional mill is carried out by exchanging various components, most significantly by replacing the wooden runner with a hydraulically better shaped metallic runner.
  • LEDeG has installed two watermills in Kargil in collaboration with IREP, one in Hagnis, Chiktan and another in Kargil Gongma.