Bamboo in India: Fruits appear in bamboo bushes

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COOCH BEHAR: Residents of Sipahitari, Hatidhura, Karalidanga and Baro-rangras are passing through sleepless nights. The reason: they fear outbreak of epidemic and famine in the area as fruits have appeared in bamboo bushes.

Following popular belief about the relation of bamboo bloom and fruits with famine and epidemic, the villagers have started destroying the bushes of the fruit bearing bamboos.

It was learnt from Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya sources that the bamboo variety of this area is locally known as Mooli-bansh. This variety of bamboo blooms about every 45 years. There is no reason to get panicky over this, a UBKV teacher, said. It is a common natural phenomenon in North-eastern states.

A retired teacher of Pundibari said he heard that famine follows bamboo bloom because during the bloom, rats multiply them in a rapid speed and eat crops in the field.

The area where fruits have appeared in bamboo bushes is about 23 km from Cooch Behar town. In February this year, flowers appeared in the bamboo bushes in the area. Seeing the bloom, many villagers had uprooted the bamboo trees. However, since fruits have appeared in other bushes, panic has gripped the people of the locality.

On behalf of Concern for Cooch Behar, Md Saukat Ali said that many of the residents of the affected villages depend on the bamboo and is like cash cards for the locals. Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya should come forward to eradicate the superstition over bamboo fruits among the villagers to save them from economic disaster. Large scale uprooting of bamboo trees may affect the socio-economic condition of the villages, he said.

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