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Uttarakhand govt to reconstruct over 4,500 dilapidated school buildings using bamboo

The chief secretary and school education secretary, during a meeting with the Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fiber Development Board on Monday, decided that schools will be reconstructed using bamboo as it is a more disaster resistant structure compared to concrete buildings and also a cost effective alternative.

education Updated: Sep 04, 2019 14:01 IST
Suparna Roy
Suparna Roy
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Representative
Representative(HT File)
         

The Uttarakhand government has decided that over 4,500 schools that are in dilapidated conditions will be reconstructed using bamboo to make them earthquake resistant.

The chief secretary and school education secretary, during a meeting with the Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fiber Development Board on Monday, decided that schools will be reconstructed using bamboo as it is a more disaster resistant structure compared to concrete buildings and also a cost effective alternative.

R Meenakshi Sundaram, the school education secretary, said the buildings that need repair or maintenance have been identified by the disaster management department and been divided into vulnerable and highly vulnerable categories.

“In Grade 4 that is the vulnerable buildings there are 4500 schools and in Grade 5 that is the highly vulnerable buildings there are 528 schools. These 528 schools are mostly schools from the primary wing and it has been decided to focus on these buildings first for reconstruction given the age group of students,” said Sundaram.

The education department is planning to work on 100 such primary schools across the state by the next academic session which will start in April 2020.

“We will present a proposal for the project in front of the next cabinet and start the work as soon as it is approved. The department already has a budget of ₹5crores to go ahead with the project in the Dehradun district to start with,” said the secretary for education.

The department has identified 12 schools in Dehradun district where work is likely to start by next month as raw material and trained masons are also available.

Manoj Chandran, chief executive officer of Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fiber Development Board, whose team made a presentation said, “We are planning to construct additional classrooms, in place of the existing classrooms that need to be demolished.”

“Bamboo is a very durable item and it is tolerant to all weather conditions, structural integrity of bamboo is also very good if it is made in the right design, which is why this option was chosen.”

Chandran said being light in weight, in case of any disaster or emergency like the structure collapsing; casualties are likely to be very less if a structure made of bamboo falls compared to cemented buildings.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, during his Independence Day speech, has announced that the state government will repair all school building which are in dilapidated conditions by 2022.

This is likely for the first time that bamboo reconstruction work is being undertaken at such a scale. The state has around 17,000 government schools in total.

In numbers

Total number of government schools in state—17,000

Bamboo reconstruction work to be taken up in- 5028 schools (approximately)

Schools buildings under vulnerable category- 4500

School buildings under highly vulnerable category- 528

Source: Department of School Education

Benefits of reconstruction using Bamboo

Disaster resistant structures

Can sustain earthquakes of magnitude up to 8 on Richter scale

Tolerant to all weather conditions

Cost efficient, reduces construction cost by almost 50% compared to cemented structures

Source: Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fiber Development Board

First Published: Sep 04, 2019 14:01 IST