Bairas small hydel project in Dras, Ladakh

The Indian Government has inaugurated the Bairas small hydel project in Dras, Ladakh. While the remote location of the project and the extreme weather possed a significant challenge to the construction of the project, the Indian Government went ahead with the plan which is a viable source of renewable power in the Ladakh region.

Geography of Ladakh

  • Ladakh is one of the highest altitude plateau regions in India which most of the region located over a height of over 3,000 m.
  • It currently incorporates significant parts of the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and encompasses most of the upper Indus River valley.
  • The unique geography of Ladakh makes it more suitable for hydel power generation as the rivers flowing here for past and the region is relatively uninahibted, making it less likely that any major population center will have to be displaced.
  • The entire Ladakh region is entirely treeless and the Indus River is the main artery of the entire region.
  • All major places of interest in the Ladakh region are located on the banks of the river like the cities of Shey, Leh, Basgo, and Tingmosgang.
  • The large landmass of the Himalayan mountains create a large rain shadow area which stops the inflow of the moisture-laden clouds of the Indian monsoon into Lakadh, in effect, turning it into a high altitude desert.
  • The main source of water for Ladakh is the winter snowfall which is observed in the mountains. The melting of the snow creates large outflows in a short duration which are ideal for hydel power generation.

About Dras

The town of Dras is one of the coldest places in India and experiences an altitude-influenced Mediterranean continental climate. The city is crucial for Indian Armed Forces and act as a bulwark for the routine area domination activities carried out by the Indian Army in the surrounding regions.


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