In a rather shocking revelation about the construction sector, 18 out of 26 TMT bars in India did not score up to the mark on quality parameters in sample tests, as per the report released by an infra think tank on Wednesday.
What’s even shocking to note is that the findings have surfaced at a time when India is witnessing the highest infrastructure investments estimated at around Rs 5.97 lakh crore during 2018-19. Compared to the last fiscal, the amount has nearly increased by Rs 1 lakh crore.
“We analyzed 66 TMT bars samples manufactured by 26 brands. And as the results are now out, of 26 brands, 18 brands have failed as phosphorous and combinations of sulphur and phosphorous were higher than required quantity,” said the report released by First Construction Council, raising doubts if India’s infrastructure investment was in jeopardy.
The report is a clear indication of how even the major players in the market, who spend plenty of money on advertising, have failed the basic research test. It also highlights their ignorance in investments related to basic security practices, the report said.
For a bar to be classified as a quality reinforcement bar (Rebar) called as TMT, it is important for it to pass at all the chemical and physical parameters as failure on even a single parameter means safety standards are being compromised, the report said.
The FIRST Construction Council (FCC) claims to be an infrastructure think-tank, focused on delivering latest news and updates about India’s construction sector.
While there are a lot of researches with written and spoken matter available about raw materials, there is almost no data available on reinforcement bars (ReBars), also known as thermo-mechanically-treated (TMT) bars, the FCC said in a statement.
Rebars are the backbone of any construction. The quality of rebars defines the overall strength and quality of the structure.
“We had taken different diameter samples of similar grade (Fe500). Though classification can be done on diameter basis, a very interesting factor emerged from the test results. While all primary players managed to get positive results, many secondary players failed,” FCC President Pratap Padode said.
Padode also said that the retail segment usually has TMT bars of 8mm,12mm and 20 mm, which are widely used and the test was done on all the brands that have a presence in these as well as rebars of other diameters.
“While all samples collected from primary players like SAIL, RINL, Tata, JSPL, JSW and Electrotherm managed to maintain the quality benchmark, most different diameter samples from secondary players failed to meet the requirements,” the report stated.
A leading developer who did not want his identity to be disclosed, said the 18 brands that have failed to match with the set standards should be asked to take extraordinary steps to meet the expectations instead of promoting only the eight brands, which already sell for higher prices in the market.
Adding to the revelations, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd CEO Shailesh Pathak highlighted the need of a scientific method to ascertain the quality of construction materials and also mentioned that the unavailability of sand poses a serious problem in the construction sector.
“Use of raw materials in the infrastructure project is paramount, which provides inherent strength to any infrastructure project. However, recent accidents, whether it is Kolkata bridge fall, a foot over bridge collapse and caving-in of a car parking wall in Mumbai indicates that there is a dire need for the better quality raw material to enhance the life of concrete,” the FCC pointed out.