AIZAWL, Nov 11 - With 32.07 per cent of its total geographical area under bamboo cover, Mizoram accounts for 14 per cent of the bamboo cultivation in India.
This was highlighted during a seminar ‘Bamboo Composite Materials for Structural Applications’ held in Aizawl on Friday. The seminar was co-organised by the Mizoram Science, Technology & Innovation Council (MISTIC), Directorate of Science and Technology and Bhopal-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (CSIR-AMPRI).
Davy Lalruatliana, scientific officer at MISTIC, who presented a paper on ‘Bamboo Resources in Mizoram’, said the total area of bamboo forests in Mizoram is estimated at 6,760.71 square km, which accounts for 32.07 percent of the state’s geographical area.
Mizoram is said to have 36 species of bamboo, of which 24 are indigenous and 12 have been introduced. The dominant species Melocanna baccifera – locally referred to as ‘Mautak’ – constitutes almost 95 per cent of the state’s bamboo forests.
Bamboo forests are found mainly along the river banks and abandoned jhumland as a dominant secondary vegetation.
Speaking at the seminar as the chief guest, Mizoram Bamboo Development Board vice chairman and MLA Dr K Pachhunga said harnessing the state’s rich bamboo resources was one of the top priorities of the Mizoram government under its Socio-Economic Development Programme. Echoing Chief Minister Zoramthanga’s statement, Dr K Pachhunga stressed the need for utilising the abundant bamboos for various composite materials.
Dr SKS Rathore, senior principal scientist, and Dr AK Srivastava, director of CSIR-AMPRI, presented papers on how bamboo can be used as construction materials.
Dr S Murali presented a paper on ‘Overview and Prospects of Major Bamboo species in India for Multi-purpose Application’ while Dr SAR Hashmi presented a paper on ‘Bamboo composites: A new material of construction.’