PESHAWAR: One and a half kilometer away from the main Peshawar to Mohmand District road, a large number of teen agers were jumping into the water near an old cement building constructed on the river. Upon asking it was told us that this building was actually the water mill, in local Pashto language it is called “jranda”.
Wheat grind mill (jranda) is an ancient mode of grinding wheat, corn, millet and other grains to produce flour.
In the present Era of science and modern technology where human life is bound into countless machines, this old method of grinding (Jrandas) have been around for centuries and are still being used in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and some other parts of the country. This is the great example of an ideal green and environment friendly machine, which neither needs fuel nor it pollutes our environment. It has only a small kind of sound pollution, which is only heard by the man working in Jranda.
“Those who know the quality and taste of jranda-produced flour prefer it over flour ground in modern mills, this is why the jranda has survived; otherwise, it would have withered away because of the onslaught of technology,” said Sadaat Khan, around 50 years old operator of a jrandain disputed area Daryab Koronaof District Mohmand.
Sadaat Khan Baba said that I am grinding floor from the last 25 years and I grind 10 to 12 thousand kg of wheat grains in day shift and similarly in night shift the same amount of grains have been grinded. “Only six water mills have been left on this river near Shabqadar bazar”. He added
Basically the jranda is operated by flowing water diverted from a river or stream. The force of water flow drives the blades of a turbine. It rotates an axle that drives the crushing stone, the passage of water is controlled by sluice gates that allow for maintenance and control of the speed of the grinding stones.
We take 3 kg per thousand kg’s(mann) of flour asWages (mazz in local language), but people having electricity running grinding machines are wagging 6 kg per thousand kg’s (mann) of wheat.
This historic way of grinding wheat and other grains is considered a symbol of the rich cultural history of the region, while the mechanics have not changed for centuries, some things have, and here in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, all water mills are property of the KP Irrigation Department, which leases them to successful bidders on a yearly basis. Sadat Baba concluded.
The Writer is Station Manager at Pakhtunkhwa Radio Mohmand, who Tweets on @Muradonline123.