CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) organised a brainstorming session on ‘Sustainable Utilization of Bamboo: Integration of Environment, Society and Economy’ on September 18 in the NEERI Auditorium on the occasion of “World Bamboo Day”.
This programme was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Dr. Avanish Srivastava, Director, CSIR- Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (CSIR-AMPRI), Bhopal and Guest of Honour Dr. Paramjit Singh, Former Director, Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. Dr. Hemant Purohit, Senior Most Scientist, CSIR-NEERI and Dr. Lal Singh, Scientist, CSIR-NEERI also shared the dais. While delivering the inaugural address, Dr. Srivastava said that bamboo has tremendous untapped potential for transforming India’s rural economy and therefore, CSIR Institutes have exemplarily been working on propagation, cultivation, processing, value addition and product development from bamboo.
He advised the scientists to involve more and more industries with bamboo research to benefit our society. He also emphasized on the need to bridge a gap between farmers, scientists and the industry. He commended the CSIR-NEERI’s work of transforming wastelands into productive lands in rural areas by bamboo plantation and also restoring the fly ash dump sites.
While delivering a lecture on ‘Distribution, Diversity and Utilization of Indian Bamboos’, Dr. Paramjit Singh informed that India has 148 species and 6 varieties in 33 genera of bamboos, comprising of 14% of the world. He said that botanists must study a plants flowers to identify its genus and species exactly, and because it may take some types of bamboo more than a century to flower, plant taxonomists have had trouble identifying the bamboo. It is necessary to unveil the mystery that when and how the flowering of bamboo takes place, need more research on this, he added.
He stated that only once in 60-120 years we can have the flowering of the bamboo, it is unique and rarely seen in plant kingdom. Even scientists have been working on this, till now they are not able to explain the logical reason for this large interval of flowering, he added. He informed that currently bamboo varieties are being improved through molecular markers.
He said that bamboo has been excluded from the definition of tree under The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017, claiming it would improve the earnings of tribals and dwellers living around forests. This bill permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas, however, bamboo grown on forest lands would continue to be classified as a tree, he added.
In his welcome address, Dr. Purohit said that CSIR-NEERI is aimed at serving the rural areas as bamboo is part of rural livelihood in many parts of India. The Institute will work more on bamboo for achieving economic and social sustainability. During the session, Sunil Joshi, Chairman, Bamboo Society of India, gave an overview of bamboo sector in India. Dr. Lal Singh, Scientist, CSIR-NEERI briefed about the eco-rejuvenation technology.
Dr. Santosh Gondhalekar, Director, Primove Engineering Pvt. Ltd., Pune spoke on bamboo as a source of bioenergy, Dr. SAR Hashmi, Chief Scientist and Dr. S Murali, Principal Scientist from CSIR-AMPRI, Bhopal elaborated on the new bamboo composites for construction industries and Dr. B K Sarangi, Sr. Principal Scientist, CSIR-NEERI described about tissue culture bamboo.
Ritesh Parwarkar, Village Sarpanch, Khapari/Ubagi, Kalmeshwar, Nagpur shared his experience about the site rejuvenated by CSIR- NEERI. Heads of Gram Panchayats, Scientists, Professionals, educators, corporate, socio-economists, policy planners, managers, etc. took part in the brainstorming session. Dr (Mrs) Asifa Qureshi conducted the proceedings.
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