INDIA: In an attempt to reduce road accidents and fatalities, as well as divert investment of funds from highway projects to the country’s farmers, beema bamboo is said to be the magic wand .
Crash barriers on highways intent to prevent speeding vehicles, from going off the road. These barriers made of Beema bamboo and coir, are being developed as an inexpensive alternative to steel barriers to bring down road mishaps.
These strong and fast-growing cane are used as fencing, installed deep into the concrete slabs and supported by strong coir ropes, would be the basic design structure as said by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari.
“We have recently given the task to VNIT (Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology) Nagpur, to work on the design. I want farmers to grow the Beema bamboo, and the road sector will use it,” said Gadkari with a view to help farmers earn money.
He also appealed to IITs and engineering institutes to come up with low-cost solutions using natural and indigenous materials that farmers can grow.
Assuring the durability and strength of the bamboo barriers, Gadkari said that the bamboo structures used in North-East can withstand extreme rainfall and weather conditions.
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The bamboo barrier is likely to cost a fraction of what is otherwise invested in the conventional metal and alloy barriers. “Let that money go to the country’s farmers,” said Gadkari.
VNIT director Pramod Padole said that the estimated cost of the bamboo barriers is one-third of the metal barriers and added that after further analysis of the structure and design, the actual installation on highways for on-site testing will commence.
With approximately 1.5 lakh people dying every year in close to 5 lakh road accidents in India, around one-third of these accidents happen on the highways.
Hence, currently, the focus is to remove the accident prone spots and redesign those highways.