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Cane crushes concrete

Delhi University colleges seem to have found an unlikely rescuer for their space crunch crisis—Mother Nature. With infrastructure expansion plans still stuck with the local bodies for approval, several colleges have now decided to ditch concrete structures for an eco-friendly version, reports Ritika Chopra.

delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2009 00:02 IST
Ritika Chopra

Delhi University colleges seem to have found an unlikely rescuer for their space crunch crisis—Mother Nature.

With infrastructure expansion plans still stuck with the local bodies for approval, several colleges have now decided to ditch concrete structures for an eco-friendly version.

So, come August, campuses of institutions such as Daulat Ram College, Maharaja Agrasen College, Acharya Narendra Dev and Matreyi College will greet students with new classrooms and canteens made of bamboo.

“We can't keep waiting to hear from the local bodies for permission,” said Savita M Dutta, principal, Matreyi College.

“The fact is that the college needs more classrooms and we've decided to build one of bamboo with a capacity to seat 45 students right away.”

DU has created 7,000 new seas under the OBC (Other Backward Caste) quota this year.

Caught in cement

The expansion plans of various colleges to accommodate the increased population have not been implemented yet as they are lying with the DDA, MCD or Urban Arts Commission for approval.

So, several affiliated colleges have adopted a green and quick solution at the behest of the varsity.

“A month ago, the Vice Chancellor during a meeting had suggested bamboo as a good alternative to the space problem,” said Sunil Sondhi, Principal, Maharaja Agrasen College. “That inspired many to take this up seriously.”

The inauguration of the Bamboo Hut canteen at South Campus a few months ago only convinced college principals of the feasibility of the concept.

“Even though it's made out of bamboo, the canteen is extremely sturdy. It can easily last upto 20 to 30 years. Plus its fire proof and looks great, too," added Sondhi, who has decided to construct four such new classrooms before the new academic year begins.

Cane and able

There are a number of factors that work in favour of the 'eco-friendly' concept.

Unlike regular construction, a structure made of bamboo does not require prior permission.

“These can be dismantled easily and therefore do not need the MCD's or the NDMC's approval,” said Savithri Singh, principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College, which will get a new bamboo canteen in the next couple of months.

Plus, it's a quick fix, literally.

A bamboo structure can be easily built within two months as against years consumed in erecting one made of bricks.