Arunachal: Lack of bamboo policy hinders economic status of the citizens, claims APBRDA chairman

Arunachal: Lack of bamboo policy hinders economic status of the citizens, claims APBRDA chairman

APBRDA chairman Tungri Effa also described Bamboo as a lifeline for tribals settling in the North Eastern part of India and Arunachal in particular, as without bamboo life of tribals cannot exist.

APBRDA chairman Tungri Effa APBRDA chairman Tungri Effa

Chairman of ‘The Arunachal Pradesh Bamboo Resources and Development Agency' (APBRDA), Tungri Effa while speaking to India Today NE applauded the State Government for the timely completion of the airport and said that it was a long pending dream of every Arunachalees. 

Effa said, “since childhood, we heard that airport would be a reality for Itanagar, and now when we saw a huge Boeing plane landing at Donyi Polo Airport on 19th November, carrying our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, we are overwhelmed."

He highlighted the potential of the Bamboo Sector in Arunachal and praised PM Modi for acknowledging the same during his speech at the airport inauguration. Effa said that Bamboo is a game changer in rising the economic status of the citizens.

"Young and energetic Chief Minister of our State, Pema Khandu always encourages us to work accordingly, to tap the potential of the ‘Tallest Grass Bamboo’, as Arunachal Pradesh has the largest forest area covered with Bamboo Grass and out of 135 varieties of species, 85 varieties are present inside Arunachal. CM has been supporting it continuously; since I became Chairman of APBRDA in 2020. Due to Covid Pandemic, so much work has been delayed; it is late but I will work tremendously to make this dream come true. It will change the lives of our tribals by tapping the potential of this Green Gold Bamboo," Effa added.

Tungri Effa also described Bamboo as a lifeline for tribals settling in the North Eastern part of India and Arunachal in particular, as without bamboo life of tribals cannot exist.

He said a double-engine BJP Government which is ruling both in the Centre and the State is giving importance to promoting bamboo cultivation and its usage of it. He said after proper treatment, local architects like Aroty Panyang made a hornbill bamboo entrance gate at Donyi Polo airport which has become the limelight and attracts many visitors from all over the world.

Effa highlighted all the works done by the State Government to promote the bamboo mission under his chairmanship and mentioned that his team is working on removing complete plastic usage and replacing it with bamboo products like cups, chairs, plates, bamboo packaging and others.

“The State Government is supporting the establishment of a Bamboo Treatment Plant in order to make proper usage of treated bamboo which will last many years without spoiling.

Bamboo Technology Park in Jote is also going to open soon before February 2023. So far there is no bamboo policy in our State which hinders the promotion of bamboo. It is there in other Northeastern States like Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram,” Effa informed.

He said that the State Government will adopt the Bamboo Policy which will also earmark the Controlling Authority of Bamboo; ‘as before it was controlled by Textile Industry, Forest Corporation, Agriculture and other missions, but after this policy, it will be controlled by one authority.

“Five-year plan with a roadmap will be implemented soon to acknowledge the importance of bamboo in Arunachal and the criteria of its usage, marketing, and exporting bamboo products with the use of technology. All these projects have been handed over to the technical professors of NERIST for proper research and documentation,” Effa further informed.

Effa mentioned the efforts of the State Government in organising seminars and symposiums to gain knowledge from students studying in this field and from experts of various universities and colleges of the State, to know about the future perspective of bamboo plant growth and sustainability.

“In our neighbouring Assam, PM Modi launched an Ethanol Plant at Numaligarh, Assam; where the demand for bamboo will increase manifold and as Arunachal has vast resources of bamboo, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to supply almost 3 lakh metric tonnes of bamboo in 2023. This will help the youths of Arunachal to raise their economic status. Bamboo Grass can be cut after three to four years, after plantation; so the youths of Arunachal should leave only searching for Government jobs or contracts and focus on being a progressive bamboo farmer without hesitation,” Effa added.

Effa urged the Central Government to extend support for various schemes, to develop bamboo plantations and treatment. He urged fellow Arunachalees to save their traditional homes which are made of bamboo, since time immemorial, ‘as cement homes which our citizens are crazy nowadays is an artificial one and as Arunachal is an earthquake-prone zone which comes in red zone category; RCC building can be life-threatening if an earthquake of higher magnitude hits Arunachal’.

Effa urged Police Housing Departments to promote the use of bamboo model houses while making infrastructures for their respective departments. He also highlighted the importance of a bamboo treatment plant which will be established soon as it can enhance the lifeline of bamboo from 30 years at present to higher numbers without getting spoiled.

The use of bamboo chairs, tiles, and tables will be encouraged in every department of Arunachal. Arunachal Pradesh has more bamboo and cane diversity than any other State in India. There are over 26 major and 105 sub-tribes in the State and all of them possess huge indigenous knowledge about the use and management of bamboo and canes, which are owned, protected and grown by the local people. More than 50% of the bamboo species occur in Eastern India-Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal. Other areas that are rich in bamboo are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the Western Ghats. 
However, more commonly, cane and bamboo are used by all the tribes for fashioning articles of daily need, such as baskets for storage and for carrying produce, vessels for water or liquor, and articles for personal use such as belts, hats, rain shields, daos (flat-bladed multipurpose knives) sheaths, smoking pipes. 

Bamboo has many uses, mainly in construction (flooring, roofing designing, and scaffolding), furniture, food, biofuel, fabrics, cloth, paper, pulp, charcoal, ornamental garden planting, and environmental characteristics, such as a large carbon sink and good phytoremediation option, improving soil structure and soil. India has a total number of 136 bamboo species in different states. Arunachal tops the list of bamboo varieties with 41 species.

Edited By: Atiqul Habib
Published On: Nov 21, 2022