Imphal: Bamboo has played a pivotal role in the cultural life of the people living both in the valley and in the hills of Manipur. And we have to observe how bamboo has been associated with our society and civilisation, from birth to death, said minister of state for external affairs and education Dr RK Ranjan Singh on Monday.
MoS Ranjan was speaking as chief guest on the two-day international seminar on “Bamboo plantation, hardening and bamboo as earthquake proof materials for construction” organised by Manipur University, Canchipur, CSIR-NEIST, Lamphelpat and Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS) at Classic Grande in Imphal.
The seminar was organised with the objective to merge the technological aspect of bamboo harvesting and construction with the cultural aspect of the northeast region to produce more traditional architecture that is earthquake-proofed or resistant.
In the last 100 years, the Northeast region has experienced 18 large earthquakes, including the great earthquake of Shillong in 1897 and the Assam-Tibet border in 1950, both measuring 8.7 Richter scale.
“This proves that the Northeast is a highly seismic sensitive region and the region also belongs to the fifth category of the earthquake zone. So, based on this and according to our traditional use of bamboo with the modern intervention of scientific know-how particularly about the treatment and designing among others and use it properly,” said MoS Dr Ranjan.
The minister also informed that bamboo is the highest generator of oxygens and suggested the establishment of an oxygen park with a bamboo garden.
“Considering the value given plant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has removed the bamboo from the forest cluster and transferred it to the agricultural crop category. So, we have to use the facility of such kind of legal transformation for giving more and quick varieties of bamboo,” said the minister.
Prof Ksh Lal Bihari Singha in his keynote address stated that bamboo is a versatile woody shrub of the family Poaceae and more than 1,600 bamboo species are reported worldwide which consists of ca.1,500 old woody species.
“Despite socio-cultural and mythological importance, several thousands of both traditional and technology-based applications of bamboo have been recognised. Moreover, bamboo also delivers innumerable ecosystem services which are reckoned under intangible ecological returns that balance bio-geo-chemical cycles and global climate scenarios,” he said.
“Bamboo is well recognised as an effective reducer of greenhouse gases with significant potential for carbon sequestration, maintaining water table with healthy water cycle, effective soil binder, potential noise reducer etc,” said Prof Singha of the department of life sciences (Botany), Manipur University.
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