Express News Service
MANGALURU: His father wanted him to be an engineer, but this 61-year-old farmer from a village in Dakshina Kannada district had a rather progressive vision. After completing the Pre-University course, he chose to be a farmer and now he has caught the attention of many for his sustainable solution to generate electricity for his house.
Suresh Balnad, a resident of Bayar in Balnad village of Puttur taluk, uses water from a pond that is above 60 feet to generate power. He has fixed a wind turbine with a pipe to generate electricity. For the last 17 years, Suresh has been producing 2 kilowatt (KV) of power as water flows via canal.
He told TNSE that he decided to generate power at his farm as he was fed up with frequent power cuts and exorbitant power bills. “I did not want to depend on others for electricity. It is only for domestic use and we can use it till January if there is more rain. When I was young, I wanted to make use of all natural resources,” he said.
His family members say the father of Suresh used to tell them that he would become an engineer as he was born on the same day Sir M Visvesvaraya was born. “We used to pay Rs 1,400 as power bill every month but now we pay only minimum charges to the Karnataka Electricity Board(KEB),” the family members add.
Many people have been visiting his power generating plant to know more about it. Suresh is also inviting schoolchildren to educate them about power generation. “We used to take our children to the hydroelectric power plant at Jog Falls in Shivamogga. Now, we are taking our students to the farm of Suresh,” said a government school teacher. However, due to Covid-19, he has restricted entry of people to the farm.
Suresh, apart from generating power, has also put efforts to increase groundwater level by completely depending on rainwater harvesting. He grows pepper, coconut, arecanut, vegetables and does not have borewells at his farm.