Northeast

Promoting bamboo as earthquake-proof building material in Manipur

“While promoting bamboo as earthquake-proof building material, bamboo varieties suitable for construction need to be available abundantly. Therefore, there is the need for mass-scale bamboo plantation in the region.”

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 31 Oct 2022, 9:55 am

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)

 

Northeast India is highly vulnerable to earthquakes as geo-morphologically, the region falls under the Seismic Hazard Zone V, the highest in the seismic map of India, according to the National Centre for Seismology (NCS). In view of it, there is a growing push for large-scale bamboo plantation and promotion of its use as an earthquake-proof building material in Northeast and Manipur in particular, where bamboo growth is found in abundance.

“Whether bamboo propagation occurs through natural seedlings or tissue culture depends on the orientation of the government at the policy level. However, there is a need to encourage common people to undertake bamboo plantations and use bamboo as a quake-proof building material,” a local group, Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS) said.

In the last 100 years, the Northeast region has experienced 18 strong earthquakes, more than the magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale, including the great earthquakes of Shillong in 1897 and the Assam-Tibet border 1950), both with 8.7 magnitude, AIMS said.

Advertisement

Besides, several mild and moderate earthquakes have also been recorded frequently in the region, such as the incident on January 4, 2016. An earthquake measuring 6.7 magnitude on the Richter scale with its epicenter in Kabui Khullen in Tamenglong district of Manipur struck the state. In 2020, an earthquake measuring 5.3 magnitude on Richter scale jolted Northeast India, including Assam, Manipur, Tripura, and Mizoram.

While India possesses the technological knowhow to build quake-proof bamboo houses, easy-to-acquire and transfer, cheaper and user-friendly technologies are making inroads in the world bamboo scenario, AIMS pointed out.

Stressing on acquiring such technology, which is closer to the traditional architectural design and more suitable to the ways of life of the Northeast people in general and Manipur in particular, AIMS pointed out that people in Northeast India have been using bamboo as a construction material since time immemorial. In other words, Northeast civilization is based on bamboo culture. At the same time, bamboo materials (treated, hardened and processed) should be affordable and cost-effective as compared to other building materials, AIMS said.

“While promoting bamboo as earthquake-proof building material, bamboo varieties suitable for construction need to be available abundantly. Therefore, there is the need for mass-scale bamboo plantation in the region,” AIMS added.

In Manipur, approximately 3268 sq km area is under pure bamboo brakes which is 18.6 per cent of the total forest area of the state and nearly all the bamboo species of North-Eastern India are found nurturing here. It is a part of its ethnicity to raise bamboo in homesteads as they provide vital uses for subsistence of rural livelihood, according to an article by Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh entitled: Bamboo: The dying Green Gold of Manipur.

Advertisement

As a part of the efforts in creating awareness and promoting bamboo cultivation and its various use as construction materials, AIMS is organising a two-day International Seminar on “Bamboo Plantation, Hardening & Bamboo as Earthquake Proof materials for Construction” from November 7 to 8, in Imphal East. Farmers, entrepreneurs, architects, interior designers, wooden fabricators and all stakeholders are invited to join the seminar to gather knowledge on various technologies pertaining to bamboo.

It may be recalled that DoNER Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh, while addressing the North East Festival in Delhi in December 2020, announced the Central Government’s plan to promote the use of bamboo as a building material in a big way. He said the Central Government raised the import duty by 25 per cent on raw bamboo items to boost the domestic bamboo industry.

Singh also referred to the amendment in the 100-year-old Indian Forest Act in 2017, as a result of which, homegrown bamboo has been exempted from it in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.

In view of the economic and safety aspects of using bamboo as quake-proof construction material, there is a need to encourage people in the state to make maximum utilization of the bamboo growth which is found in abundance in the state.

Advertisement

First published:

Tags:

bamboo plantationbamboo construction materialquake-proof bamboo houses

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

Advertisement

Top Stories

Loading data...
Advertisement

IFP Exclusive

Loading data...
Advertisement

Feedback

Have a complaint, a suggestion or just some feedback about our content? Please write to onlineifp@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to address it.