I had taken this trip , sort of winding up, to Orissa and Andhra, for micro hydro installations. I am currently doing two projects in Orissa – Karnivel and Desugatti. karnivel – I like this name -sounds like carnival – is a
project being implemented by Gramvikas. When we went there this time, it was harvesting time and we could clearly see the people’s priority! No body turned for work when I was there. Though it makes me a bit sad, I fully understand and accept the people’s choice!
Then, we also visited a village called Amthaguda. A hydro turbine unit was installed by someone from Delhi which was not working for a long time. this machine looks huge! But it is actually like an inflated balloon! After a number of trials and number of pipe bursts& leaks, we finally managed to
test the unit. It generated 3 kW! (supposed to make30 kW). The machine is seen here!
But the resolution of the villagers was amazing. They still had a trust in the machine and worked hard to get it going. Since the system was inactive all these two years, the electrical wiring in the villages had developed a lot of shorts and we had to trouble shoot them one by one. All the kids in the village were also provided some entertainment in this melee!
After four days with the Gramvikas sites, we went to another NGO called Seva Barati based in Mundigad ( near Muniguda). The village where the hydro is being installed was where I got my cerebral malaria last year1 I had taken a lot of precaution this time – mosquito sprays and creams and nets and what not! Here the remoteness of the village made it more difficult for coordination. We spent our first two days doing nothing. Because there was no cement to do the foundation! when it arrived on evening, we decided to work a night shift. It was very cold but people were working till 12.
Finally the machine was fixed on the base.We also laid down the pipes all the way to the forebay tank to check the alignment.Now we have to wait for the civil works to be completed.
After this, the boys from thulir school went back. I took off to another site in Andhra. Pathakota. this one beats the previous two site in distance from the nearest town! three hours on a bad road. this was installed by us three months back – the electronic controller had some problem and hence here I was again! This is also the site where one of our friend – engineer from bangalore contracted malaria and died later.
This road has everything you ever want to see! thick forests, scattered villages, bailey bridge, mud road, bridges over streams, streams over road, all kinds!
On our way back, suddenly there was this tiny soldier with his bow and arrows was standing in the middle of the road!
We slowed down and passed him. Then I went to enquire!
An work of art by some villagers on display in the middle of the road! We all loved it. Such a perfect figure – just out of hay and some cloth!
Now you know why I enjoy working on micro hydro!