Once fully charged, this battery operated two-wheeler, a custom-made bicycle, runs for 12-15 km. Meet Suresh Limboo, 50, a resident of Sonada Bazaar near Kurseong in Darjeeling, who has invented the bicycle with the help of one 48-volt motor, speed controller of 53 amp 48 volt, and four 12 volt batteries that he had procured from a computer UPS.

“Since childhood, I was interested in making new things with the help of different used or unused materials and new devices,” says Mr Limboo, adding that he was first known as the “tape and TV mechanic,” while he is presently known as a “mobile phone mechanic.”

He presently runs a TV & mobile phone repair shop in Sonada. According to him, he has taken the four batteries from the Uninterrupted Power Supply system used in backing up computers, while he got the speed controller and the motor from battery operated motorcycles and fitted them in a normal bicycle he brought.

“It took me a full three months’ hard labour to come up with the invention,” he says, adding that he completed the feat very recently. “After recharging the four batteries for 10-12 hours, it will provide a backup needed for the two-wheeler to cover a distance of 12-15 km in the hills,” he claims, and goes on to add that the batteries will help the cycle run for 25-30 km in the plains.

Mr Limboo says that the entire project cost him around Rs 25,000, and that includes the cost of the new bicycle. “I am now working to come up with a gear system for the bike, so that it becomes more efficient,” he says.

“The manner in which pollution is increasing day by day, given the smoke emitting fuel-operated vehicles and motorcycles, and also keeping in mind the frequent hike in petrol and diesel prices, these kind of battery-operated cycles or motorcycles will help people save money, and more importantly, save the environment that we live in,” he adds.