Deputy Chief Minister (CM) of Arunachal Pradesh Chowna Mein on Wednesday inaugurated ‘Building with Bamboo’, a 10-day workshop on bamboo construction at a resort in Namsai district’s Tengapani in presence of the Chongkham MLA Chow Tewa Mein and Namsai MLA Chau Zingnu Namchoom.
“We can market Arunachal Pradesh through bamboo and its products,” Mein said in his inaugural speech, underlining the huge scope for investment in the State blessed with natural wealth. He said that the North East has the highest potential of bamboo in the country and bamboo is a “part and parcel of the life of north-eastern people” as it is widely used as food and construction material. “The GST Council had accepted my proposal for reducing GST on bamboo furniture and other products from 28 per cent to 12 per cent,” he added.
He further said that opportunities are coming for the people of the State as it is opening up to the world beyond with improved road, rail and air connectivity. “Though there is tremendous scope for establishing economic and cultural relations with South East Asian countries. For that to happen, we need to keep ourselves ready through improvisation of infrastructure and road communication,” he said.
Mein felt entrepreneurship is one such area where people in the State can excel by selling finished products to attract outsiders. “For this to happen, we need both political and social will and support from the experts,” he said. He also said that the bamboo workshop was conceptualised to enable the people to learn from the experts and skill themselves in building durable houses with bamboo. He hoped that the workshop will be a fruitful one and requested the experts to draw a roadmap on how to utilise the vast resources of bamboo of the Himalayan State for the economic benefit of the people.
Tewa Mein advised identification of areas for which bamboos grown in the State are suitable for best utilisation of the natural resource. Namchoom said bamboo has the potential to replace timber, banned in the State, for economic growth. He hoped that the entrepreneurs of the State will be immensely benefited from this workshop.
Jorg Stamm, an international expert on bamboo structures, said that the bamboos of Arunachal Pradesh are export material. Highlighting multiple uses of bamboo, he said that there is huge potential for bamboo-based industrial development and construction of durable houses from the bamboos found in the State.
Kamesh Salam, CEO of South Asia Bamboo Foundation (SABF), said that the workshop is being organised to transfer technology and hands-on skills to the local entrepreneurs of the State. Dr G Murtem, Deputy State Mission Director of State Bamboo Development Agency also spoke on the occasion.
Apart from international experts on bamboo structures from Colombia, the United Kingdom and Bhutan, 28 participants including 12 architects from states such as Nagaland, Assam, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Manipur and about 25 participants from Arunachal Pradesh are participating in the workshop.
The workshop, scheduled to conclude on November 2 next, is jointly organised by the SABF and Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) under the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and sponsored by the Arunachal Pradesh Government.
Among others, Deputy Commissioner Dr Tapashya Raghav and Head of the Departments (HoDs), officers from State Forest Research Institute, Vice-Chancellor of Arunachal University of Studies, Namsai also attended the programme.