Bamboo bicycle launched in Imphal

Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Nov 29 – The bamboo bicycle or Wa-(bamboo) Bike is allset to hit the State roads turning the dream of bicycle enthusiasts in Manipur into a reality after the formal launch of the bike in Imphal last afternoon.
Though the State had witnessed successful test ride of four bamboo-fabricated bicycles during the 10th Critical Mass of Manipur Cycle Club (MCC) in April this year, the made in India 'bambike' was formally launched at the ongoing 10-day Manipur Sangai Festival on the 8th day yesterday.
Two models of bamboo-fabricated bicycle or 'Wa-Bike' – one each for men and children – were assembled during a four-day workshop held under the aegis of South Asia Bamboo Foundation (SABF) in collaboration with MCC.
"I hope the government in our State takes steps to make cycle lanes for a healthy environment in our city,"says Parliamentary Secretary (Tourism and Sports) M Prithviraj while speaking at the function. "I appreciate the innovative and unique idea of making such a bamboo bicyle in the State."
The bicycle, the first in the country, is made of both iron and bamboo. The main frames are made of bamboo and the rest such as wheels, joints and chains are made of iron parts.
Manipur's Commerce and Industries Minister K Gobindas lauded the activities of MCC. It maye be noted that the State Environment and Ecology Wing had already promised to buy 1000such Wa-Bikes in the days to come to use as samples for environment-friendly means of transport.
Urging the communities to adopt cycle for daily local transports in the Imphal city and urban areas of Manipur which remain congested due to unchecked rise in number of motor vehicles, mostly two-wheelers, a key functionary of MCC, James Mayengbam, said, "But we'll be testing the durability of the bamboo-fabricated cycles for a few months before venturing intocommercial production." So the MCC is also yet to fix price of the Wa-Bike.
Former president of the World Bamboo Organisation Kamesh Salam and Bangalore-based designer Vijay Sharma were instrumental in making the MCC's dream into reality. (SentinelAssam)

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