A promising innovator from north Kashmir’s Palhalan village is looking for an investor to fund his project that might bring an end to the power woes in Kashmir valley, and indeed across the world, Bilal Handoo reports.
The ‘romance for innovations’ began in 2006 for Sajad Ahangar, a teenager from Palhallan village when the railway track was being laid in the northern side of Kashmir valley. Large scale engineering at work aroused the curious side of Ahangar, now 18, and he instantly made his mind to design machines with a ‘novel touch’.
Seven years down the line, he has groomed himself to such an extent that he claims to have created an innovation that might solve the menace of power cuts forever. “I have developed an innovation on the prototype of mini-hydro power station,” Sajad, who aspires to be a renowned innovator, says. “It will make use of the water, circulate it repeatedly, release it on turbine, and thereby generate uninterrupted electricity with the help of generator.”
The same principle applies to conventional hydroelectric power stations but it is the repeated use of same water that gives Sajad’s brainchild an edge over the existing prototype. “To make it tangible, a water tank can be fitted on roof of every household. The water from the tank would be released on turbine below through a pipe,” he says. Though his innovation is still at its infancy stage, but he is hopeful to make it a reality.
The idea struck him in the classroom where the hydroelectricity generation potential of the J&K state was being taught. “Our teacher told us how the water from Wular Lake can be used to generate electricity,” he recalls. “I thought if we could take the water from the lake to the famous shrine of Baba Shukur Din situated on the hill and then release it on the turbine below, we could generate electricity without losing water.”
Soon he went to Kashmir University’s innovation wing and explained his idea to them. “Though they appreciated me, but asked me to prepare a small model on it,” he says. But, as he started working on the model, he soon faced financial hiccups.
His calculations revealed to him that material for making the model would cost him at least Rs 2 lakh. His middle-class family couldn’t come to his help. So he went to J&K bank seeking financial assistance. “The bank manager refused to provide me a loan saying that I am just a kid,” he says.
The refusal of bank authorities hasn’t waned away his passion. His father, Abdul Rashid Ahangar, has promised to help him in near future. For the moment, Sajad works at the garage of his father in Palhalan where he adds novel designs to the existing machines, much to the fascination of their customers. He recently redesigned one of functions of farm tractor by adding a pulley to it, “It would enable the tractor to undergo least wear and tear,” he says.
Sajad has no formal knowledge of machines and is quite unaware of physics behind their functioning. Being a first year Arts student, he has already proven a popular notion wrong that engineering can be learnt only through books.
In recent past, a post-graduate student of Palhalan was desperately looking for an innovator to give final touch to his project. He met Sajad, and within no time his project was ready. “The project requirement was to make model of Gulmarg,” he recalls. “It was ready except Gondola was missing. I thought about it and soon ran a mini-Gondola on it.” The project went on to win second prize in a competition.
“I am working to create a machine that would harvest the crop which is otherwise done manually,” he says. Last year, scores of people made beelines to avail gas cylinders. During that time, milkmen of a locality in Palhalan were feeling the heat of scarcity of gas. “They would consume one filled gas cylinder within an hour to boil milk. I proposed to them that they buy a gas compressor which could be used to mix gas with kerosene. It would generate somewhat similar heat as LPG gas,” he explains.
But, like that J&K Bank manager, the milkmen of Palhalan didn’t trust him, “This hardly bothers me,” he says.
The absence of a patron around him, it seems, shadows his ‘intellectual properties’!