There is no power struggle for tribal families here

Two mini hydel projects have been installed to produce electricity

There is no power struggle for tribal families here

Manjappa Malekudiya, a Malekudiya tribe member lives with his family in a small house at Onjardadi, 15 kilometres away from Naravi. He has a mini hydro electricity unit with one kilo watt production capacity.

Manjappa’s family has no tension of power cuts as long as his power production unit’s generator turbine rotates to produce power for daily requirement. Working on the pressure of natural water stream, the electricity produced can conveniently light 10 bulbs of 100 watts each.

The production unit works whether it is monsoon or dry season, because the natural source of water never dries up here.

How it works

Manjappa dug a small pond on the hillock behind his house and connected long pipe of six inch diameter to draw water to the power unit. The other end of the pipe has been fixed to the turbine box. The power production starts as soon as the valve near the turbine is opened.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Manjappa’s wife Appi says that the power unit here is a blessing for them in Kuthlur village, which has been identified as a naxal prone area by the police.

“We are happy because we need not pay electricity bill or spend money for fuel. We produce our own electricity,” says Appi.

While it costs nearly Rs 1.5 lakh to install the unit, Manjappa has got 75 percent subsidy through Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited under Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s Scheme. Shimoga based Nisarga Environment Technology (NET), an agency entrusted with responsibility of supplying the power units in the State, has installed the unit at Manjappa’s house and another house in the same village.

Representative of NET M G Puttanna said that while the State government had sanctioned 250 units in 2009-10, 73 were reserved for the district. Priority will be given to tribals while distributing the units. Actual price of an unit of one kilo watt capacity is Rs 91,750, it will require another Rs 50,000 - 60,000 to dig tank, lay pipe, install the turbine and generator, he added.

He said that the NET offers one year free service guarantee. Paid service will be available after one year at any time.

Ravi Malekudiya, another tribal family member in Erdadi in the forest who has installed the unit  too says that he has been self sufficient in power supply eversince the installation of the unit.

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