Two-day international seminar on Bamboo being held in Imphal

Imphal: Minister of state for external affairs and education Dr RK Ranjan Singh on Monday graced the two-day international seminar on “bamboo plantation, hardening and bamboo as earthquake proof materials for construction,” at Classic Grande in Imphal.

The seminar was organised by Manipur University, Canchipur, CSIR-NEIST, Lamphelpat and Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS) and supported by Babina Healthcare and Hospitality Industries Pvt. Ltd., Public Works Department, Govt. of Manipur and Manipur State Bamboo Mission.

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Considering the northeast region which is highly vulnerable to earthquakes as evidenced in the past, several bamboo experts are of the opinion that bamboo found abundantly in the region can be harvested to construct earthquake proof houses and other types of construction. 

Moreover, according to the organisers, there is a need to merge the technological aspect of bamboo harvesting and construction with the cultural aspect of the northeast region to produce a more traditionally architecture buildings that is earthquake proof or resistant. 

Speaking on the inaugural session as chief guest, MoS Dr Ranjan stated that in the past, northeast region has experienced great earthquakes, including 1897 earthquake in Shillong and the Assam-Tibet border in 1950, both with measuring 8.7 Richter scale. 

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“This proves that northeast is 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 has the highest generator of oxygens and suggested for the establishment of oxygen park with bamboo garden in widespread which will provide the finest and most clean oxygen.

“Considering the value given plant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has removed the bamboo from the forest cluster and transfer to 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.

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Prof Ksh Lal Bihari Singha of department of life sciences (Botany), Manipur University 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 balances bio-geo-chemical cycles and global climate scenarios, he said.

“Bamboo is a well recognised as 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.

Dr Jean-Luc Kouyoumji, president of bamboo science and innovation and world bamboo ambassador and Prof Aung Myint of Irrawaddy Bamboo Association, Mandalay, Myanmar were also attended the event as special invitees. 

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MLRT Chris Norman

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