You are driving on a national highway and come across a tollgate or a bus stand made entirely of bamboo.
Do not be surprised. These are some of the products that will be designed and made by the Centre for Bamboo Initiatives at the National School of Design (NID), Bengaluru, under the National Green Highway Mission (NGHM) — a Central scheme.
The NID centre is in talks with the NGHM to make such products in an effort to fulfil the mission’s aim to “develop unique green corridors with aesthetic appeal.” Launched on July 1 this year under the National Highways Authority of India, the mission aims to increase greenery around the national highways.
Explaining the NID’s role in the mission, C S Susanth, senior designer and head, Centre for Bamboo Initiatives, NID, said that he has been in touch with the NGHM head, A K Bhattacharya on the issue for a few months now: “Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly raw materials and we have a number of ideas to use it for our role in the mission. We will be making products such as lampposts, road dividers, railings, signages as well as tollgates with bamboo. Another plan is to make entire bus stops with bamboo.”
Susanth also talked about constructing bamboo parks that will serve as a place for recreation and leisure along the highways. “It will be a project for a clean and green India and the bamboo centre will be spearheading this aspect of the mission. A formal agreement will be signed shortly,” said Susanth, who himself has conducted extensive research in the field.
A one-week international workshop organised by the NID from Sunday aims to launch a collaborative research on the potential of bamboo. Students from India and abroad will work in teams on the application of bamboo — from products to systems which can create an impact in protecting the environment. Susanth said: “Products that come out of this workshop might be used in the NGHM,” he said.
The NID started research on bamboo products in 1977 and established its first bamboo research centre in 2000 on its Ahmedabad campus. In 2009, a centre was started on the Bengaluru campus. Bengaluru centre has already designed a number of lifestyle products and has plans to popularise bamboo.
September 18 is celebrated as the World Bamboo Day by the World Bamboo Association.