RANCHI: Kamil Topno is no engineer. Yet, the undergraduate of Kharia Thakurain Dera village in Lohardaga has been able to light up at least 20 houses using river water that falls from a 100- ft hillock near his village.
“That’s what my teacher had told me in school,” says Topno.
Posted as lab technician at Bharat Cocking Coal Limited (BCCL) hospital at Dhanbad, Topno’s ‘jugaad’ contraption – first he made use of rickshawwheels and then Pelton-wheel, (an impulse-type water turbine invented by American Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s) to convert the energy of water falling from a height into electricity which is supplied 24x7 free of cost.
Power supply was introduced to the village in 2018, but it is so erratic that the villagers use the Topno supply to light their homes and charge mobile phones.
“I started the project in 2013- 14, but succeeded a year later. Initially, I used rickshaw wheels fitted with a dynamo for extracting electricity which was not so efficient when the flow of water was slow,” said Topno.
When he got a smartphone, he bought a Pelton wheel and fitted it with a dynamo. This has been the source of electricity to the entire village since 2018, he said.
“I hit upon the idea when I was jobless and feared if I shared by idea, people would laugh at me. I started it silently, but when I succeeded, I shared my little invention with villagers who were very happy,” said Topno.
The water falling from the hillock is used for irrigation. He has so far invested more than Rs 20,000 for the project on his own without taking help from anybody.
“I failed twice and had to lose around Rs 10,000. But I did not lose heart and finally succeeded in 2015,” said Topno.
“Topno has really done a wonderful job,” said Mukhiya Sumitra Lakra of Deodharia Panchayat. “On the directions of the Deputy Commissioner, the Block Development Officer visited the place and praised Topno, said the Mukhiya.