VOCAL FOR LOCAL CAMPAIGN TOUCHES DIMAPUR: Meet the Officer behind the indigenous bamboo barricades

T Henthai Phom, NPS, ACP Traffic Zone - II, Dimapur.
T Henthai Phom, NPS, ACP Traffic Zone - II, Dimapur.

Sample of the portable bamboo barricades.

 

Morung Express News
Dimapur | August 5

By evening, one would always see traffic personnel in Dimapur town areas pushing aside heavy metal traffic barricades, road dividers and signage including huge plastic materials. They do the same early in the morning to set the heavy metals and huge plastics in its designated place. However, the traffic personnel in town areas would soon be dealing with lightweight bamboo barricades which would serve the same purpose with a local touch and look.

It may be mentioned that the Dimapur Police Commissionerate on August 4 launched the bamboo barricades to be used for traffic management.

The Morung Express spoke to the man who conceptualized the ingenious idea of using cost effective locally available treated bamboos for traffic management. 

T. Henthai Phom, ACP Traffic Zone II, Dimapur, who not only conceptualized  the idea but also designed the barricade said, “For any Naga who wants to build a fence or a barricade with locally available materials, the first material one would look for is a bamboo. So, that is how the idea was born. Why not bring bamboo to the street for assistance in traffic management!” 

He said the motivation and idea also came about from PM’s Modi’s vision of self-reliance through the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan Programme pushing ‘Vocal for Local.’

“In this unprecedented pandemic situation where economy of all nations is worst hit; by using locally available and locally produced products, and by encouraging local entrepreneurs, we are playing a small part in making ourselves self-reliant,” Henthai added.

He said that the pet project started with many reservations on July 17, 2020 with a rough sketch since it was ‘the road less travelled.’ 

He noted that Nagas have been using the wonder plant in almost everything to suit their needs; from building bridges to houses and morungs; and from using it in dangerous weapons of defence to beautiful handicrafts and basketry that fulfil everyday needs. “Bamboo is an integral part of every Naga life,” he added.

The 2012 Batch NPS officer said that metal barricades are not only costly but heavy to handle and difficult to repair when damaged. “But treated bamboos are locally available in plenty, cheap and there is not much of maintenance. Besides, it is eco-friendly, strong and durable, low cost production, lightweight and easy mobility and its usage would encourage local entrepreneurs,” he said. He also added that the bamboo barricades were procured at Rs 2500 per unit as against metal barricades costing around Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000.

Henthai said bamboo barricades measuring three and half feet vertically and seven feet horizontally would be brought to the streets on trial basis to see how durable it is given the harsh weather conditions of rain and sun. “But if it lasts for 2-3 years we would be happy and hope other districts would follow suit,” he said. 

The Traffic officer also revealed that the metal barricades were heavy-duty barricades and the police would be using it in areas of fast moving traffic like the highway while bamboo barricades would be used in slow traffic town areas. He said collapsible wooden barricades were also introduced on trial basis but the focus was on using bamboo barricades.

Henthai said that the portable bamboo barricades would be used in day-to-day traffic management for multiple purposes such as traffic assistance tool, road safety and as temporary traffic signs to inform commuters about condition of roads etc. He said that using bamboo as barricades for assistance in traffic management could be the first of its kind.

“Let us all encourage one another and be Vocal for Local,” Henthai added.