Unlike the structures which grow and decay, there are some structures which grow stronger when time passes.
When environment lovers are brainstorming in COP25 for the measures to safeguards the earth retaining its sanctity, here is good news about the alternative for the concretization the world is heading towards, if not in all sectors in the rural sides where vegetation is possible in both banks of river.
Researchers have come up with new findings about the ancient alternatives of bridge building carried on generations to generations by the people of Meghalaya, India. These bridges stretch across rivers and ravines in
Unlike the other bridges which have the declining life span these tree bridges turn stronger when they grow.
Actually, they are the bridges made up of ficus elastica or the rubber tree.
How are these bridges built?
Unlike other bridges, these bridges are cultivated from the aerial roots of the same kind of tree. As they are the tree bridges, unlike the bamboo or wood bridges getting rotten, they remain stronger even in wet and damp places.
First a seedling is planted on each bank of the river or edge of a ravine. When the aerial roots sprout they are looped around a framework of bamboo, palm or other stems and are directed toward the opposite bank. Once they reach the other side, they are imbedded in the soil.
Gradually they develop smaller daughter roots. These roots are also directed to the bank as well as where they are implanted. Although the process may take decades to complete, their long life span deserves the patience to grow them.
In India, these trees are made and maintained by individuals, families and communities from the indigenous Khasi and Jaintia people of Meghalaya.
These bridges have started drawing tourists, as one of them was found being visited by nearly 2000 tourists a day.
As the art of Tree Bridge is part of community work, it’s sure to be sustainable from every perspective provided the woodcutters don’t take to them for their living.