The NMBA, a constituent of NECTAR has, over the years, pioneered the concept and field implementation of pre-fabricated bamboo composite buildings and structures for public utility purposes across various sectoral needs in different parts of the country, especially in the rural, backward and remote regions. This was sought to replace the usual solutions such as potacabins etc. made of tin, plastic and other environmentally unfriendly materials as well as replacing use of steel and RCC based bricks and mortar structures. The key criteria utilized was of zero cement and zero wood. Engineered bamboo material is used for various components of these structures. In the past years, NMBA has established public utility structures like school buildings, university complexes, community centres, health centres, public toilets, tourism assets and barracks for the police and paramilitary forces in the remote regions. One great effort of NMBA was the setting up of nearly 600 residential schools in the naxal affected villages of Chhattisgarh State. Over a period of time NMBA has delivered and set up nearly 41 lakh sq.ft. of such public utility structures with equitable socio-economic objectives in many states and union territories. It is a matter of great satisfaction that after years of use, these structures are still very much intact and are being used extensively. The feedback from the user has been uniformly and consistently positive.
Pre-fabricated bamboo buildings and structures were further incorporated as an integral part of disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts pioneered by the NMBA. In the first instance, relief structures were established a short time to provide shelter for the displaced persons and thereafter structures were established to augment the pool of permanent dwellings for persons who had to be later rehabilitated in these locations. A brief overview of the relief and rehabilitation projects using bamboo pre-fabricated housing units is as follows:
(i) After the Tsunami in Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the year 2005, NMBA supplied engineered bamboo boards and bamboo doors and windows of a value of nearly Rs.70crores comprising nearly 8.9lakh sq.mts. of material. This was utilized in the construction of nearly 6000 houses for the displaced persons. Such structures were also ideal to ensure future safety in the sensitive ecological zone.
(ii) After the Uri earth quake disaster in J&K in the year 2005, NMBA set up 10 housing structures within 4 days in the seriously affected areas not far from the line of control.
(iii) The Cloud burst disaster that took place in Leh and surrounding areas in 2010 led to NMBA once again engaged in post disaster rehabilitation efforts. The NMBA proceeded to construct pre-fabricated housing structures on nearly 55000 sq.ft. area which provided relief housing to nearly 10,000 people at the time.
(iv) NMBA also undertook relief and rehabilitation work after the earth quake in Sikkim in the year 2011 and established 10 large housing units of size 32ft by16ft at 3 housing locations.
NECTAR has consistently proposed an inventory of pre-fabricated bamboo housing and structures as an essential preparation for dealing with post disaster relief and rehabilitation work.