IMPHAL, March 25 – In an effort to promote employment generation projects besides propagating a healthier and pollution-free environment, South Asia Bamboo Foundation (SABF) in collaboration with Manipur Cycle Club (MCC) is planning to produce ‘Bamboo Cycles’ for the first time in the country.
Kamesh Salam, founder and Executive Director of SABF told The Assam Tribune over phone from Guwahati that the success of such projects in African countries like Ghana and Zambia and other developing countries has made him to replicate such models in India.
Bamboo grows in every continent except Europe and Antarctica, but is most abundant in Southern Asia. There are about 255 varieties of bamboo in the world. Out of India’s 57 varieties, 44 are found in the North- eastern States.
Former president of World Bamboo Organisation, Kamesh added that a particular bamboo species known as Khok-wa (solid bamboo), found in Manipur’s Chandel and Churachandpur besides Kanakias-Bah (Bambusa affinis), another variety found in Tripura’s Kalapara area have the resilience to replace bicycle’s main frame which is made of aluminium or steel. The complete bicycle is assembled using other bicycle parts from cycle manufacturers in India at substantially lower cost.
On the question of using bamboo as its material for making cycle frames, he added that bamboo, the fastest growing source of plant fiber on Earth, is appropriate for bicycle for its high strength and low weight rather than hardwoods. He added, “We will be producing the Bamboo Bicycle on an experimental basis and assess its economic feasibility.”
Meanwhile, James Mayengbam of MCC has urged the people to adopt cycle for daily local transport in Imphal city and urban areas of Manipur.