OLD OIL drums as chairs and tables, part of an Ambassador car as a sofa, a control panel of a power sub-station as a table with seats fashioned from transformer insulators. The “Energy Cafe” at Vidyut Bhavan has been modelled from scrap collected from the state energy department’s dumping yard.
“We noticed a lot of scrap lying in the dumping yard for years. As we had been planning to re-start our staff canteen to serve subsidised food, we decided to do something out-of-the-box. The idea was to transform, while keeping the energy intact,” said Pratyaya Amrit, principal secretary, energy department.
So, parts of an old bicycle that was used by the electricity department employees have been reused for the signboard. An old Ambassador car (BRIM 9377), which was used by the Bihar State Electricity Board Secretary till 2001, has been remodelled into an elevated sofa.
A few feet away, the control panel of a power sub-station, with its nuts and bolts intact, has been given a glass top to be used as a table. Old transformer oil drums have been redesigned as aqua green chairs and tables. Insulators used in transformers also provide seating space, with cushions for comfort. The benches have been fashioned from wood or metal scrap.
While the 1,800 sq ft cafe was inaugurated last week, the department is planning to lease it to a private party. Amrit said they want to make it a “profitable venture” and not just a “showpiece”.
“Manjeet Singh and Neha Singh, both Patna residents, redesigned the scrap into furniture. All the decorative items on the walls have also been made from scrap. The items that were consigned to our dumping yard have now found pride of place in the energy cafe,” said Amrit.
The IT supervisor, Mahfooz Hashmi, said aluminium kettles which were earlier used in the canteen of an old thermal power plant have been put up on the walls.
With “energy” as the theme, the department has decided to offer a mix of organic food, tea and coffee, with no place for samosas. “Our menu will have four varities of tea, including Bihar’s masala tea. We want it to be a place where people can increase their energy level,” said Amrit.
Even the menu board has been designed from wood obtained from cable rolls. A discarded piece of wood has been remodelled into a wall clock. In the pipeline are dustbins made from scrap too.