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Story of 'Bahu Balli' world's first bamboo car crash barrier installed in India

07:37 PM Mar 05, 2023 IST | pallavvjain
story of  bahu balli  world s first bamboo car crash barrier installed in india

The world’s first 200-meter-long crash barrier made of bamboo has been installed on Vani Warora Highway in Vidarbha, Maharashtra. It is not only effective but also very beneficial for the environment. This bamboo car crash barrier has been named ‘Bahu Ball’. You can guess its power by its name, Bahubali means strong powerful hands, but here ‘bali’ is changed to ‘balli’ which is a native word used for bamboo.

What are crash barriers?

The main function of a car crash barrier is to stop vehicles get off-road in case of an accident. It prevents the vehicles from falling away from the road, which reduces the impact of the accident and helps to prevent fatality in accidents to some extent.


According to Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, ‘this is a big achievement for India’s Aatm Nirbhar (Self-reliant) program and India’s bamboo industry.’

The material used to make Bahu Balli

Bambusa Balcoa species of bamboo have been used to make this crash barrier. It has been treated with creosote oil and coated with recycled High-Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE).


Bambusa Balcoa species of bamboo is known for its strength. Its length is up to 80 feet, and its thickness is up to 6 inches.

This species of bamboo is a native species of the Indian subcontinent, its commercial plantation is done in South Africa. This bamboo is capable of withstanding long periods of drought.


Bamboo car crash barrier installed in India

Durability and strength

If we talk about the efficiency of this car crash barrier, then it has been tested at National Automotive Test Tracks (NATRAX) located at Pithampur Indore and various government institutions. Its quality has received a Class I certificate in the fire rating test conducted by the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) Roorkee. Indian Road Congress has also accredited it.

The question of its durability was also asked when it was ideated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in the early stage, at that time he answered that ‘in North East India, you can see how bamboo structures can survive even in extreme rainfall for years.’


Eco friendly

Bamboo car crash barrier is also good for the environment as it has a recycling value of 50-70% compared to 30-50% of steel barriers. Polyethylene has been used for coating in this but it is also completely recycled. The Bamboo Car Crash Barrier will also be used on the highways near the forests to prevent wildlife from coming onto the roads.

This car crash barrier is a good alternative to steel, it will provide employment to the farmers of India, as well as boost the rural economy.

bahu balli bamboo crash barrier

How did India’s Bamboo Car Crash Barrier ‘Bahu Balli’ come into existence?

India was looking for an effective technology to prevent road accidents that could be an alternative to steel barriers and reduce the number of crash deaths after road accidents. For this, a low-cost solution was agreed upon in which the car crash barrier could be made with the help of bamboo.

Experts from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT), Nagpur were given the task of designing this barrier.

According to Union minister Nitin Gadkari, ‘India spends Rs 25,000 crore every year on car crash barriers. The steel barrier costs Rs 2000 per meter. This money could go to Indian farmers if the idea of a car crash barrier made of bamboo gets success’. Nitin Gadkari’s idea has turned this Bahu Balli car crash barrier into reality.

Road accidents in India

Let us tell you that there are an average of 5 lakh road accidents in India every year, in which about 1.5 lakh people lose their lives.

India, along with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, is working to remove black spots where accidents are more frequent. 14 thousand crore rupees are being spent on this work, and the design of the road is being changed accordingly.

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Pallav Jain

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Pallav Jain is co-founder of Ground Report and an independent journalist and visual storyteller based in Madhya Pradesh. He did his PG Diploma in Radio and TV journalism from IIMC 2015-16.

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