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Silent Valley at Mannarkad District at Kerala is one of the oldest heritage sites in the Western Ghats. It is a beautiful landscape and a biodiversity-rich forest. This area is rich with herbs and is an entirely undisturbed area. It is also totally plastic free and the environment is protected without outside disturbance.

But earlier when the researchers, students and nature lovers from all over the world visited and stayed at the forest rest house, to carry out their research work at the Nature Interpretation Centre established here they found it unsuitable as the Nature Interpretation Centre and the rest house for the forest staffs was not electrified.

So, to look into this matter the Forest Department decided to install a watermill to provide electricity without disturbing the environment much as there is perennial water source is available nearby.

·         When the Forest Department came to know of the subsidy scheme under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), it along with the Energy Management Centre, Trivandrum, installed a watermill at Silent Valley.

·         Under the scheme, it was possible to use a watermill to generate electricity to light up such an area. The watermill is close to the Nature Interpretation Centre.

The main requirement of the forest department to make the watermill was that they didn’t want to disturb the environment, animals in the National Park. So, they set up the whole mill in the following manner:

·         The water source and the watermill installation places is 500 metre away from the centre. Thus, the power generated is transmitted by using an underground cable to the centre and the rest house.

·         An underground cable has been used so that it does not prove to be a disturbance to the moving animals.

·         The power generated by the watermill is used to provide lighting to the Nature Interpretation Centre and the rest house.

After the implementation of this mill, it is become very useful for students and researchers to work here with electricity.

Location: Kerala

Joshil M. June 2014. Pico Hydro Electric Turbine Installation At Core Area Of Silent Valley Forest, Kerala.

Akshay Urja, 7(6), p: 36

Source: Akshay Urja