Government-funded projects in India may use alternatives to steel to check rising prices

Monday, 25 January 2021 12:17:18 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

The Indian government will increasingly allow usage of alternatives for steel such as synthetic fibres and carbon composites in government-funded construction and infrastructure projects as a challenge to domestic steel producers’ cartelization and increasing steel prices ‘unreasonably’, minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, said in a statement on Monday, January 25.

“Every steel producer has its own iron ore mines. So jacking up prices is like black marketing by steel producers and also cement companies. I am going to settle my issue with them. Now we are planning to allow use of synthetic fibres instead of steel. There are a lot of innovations and inventions on this and we will allow this for bridge, roads and highways construction,” Gadkari said.

Pointing out that his ministry is constantly following up issues of high steel prices with producers, he stated, “Nearly 40 percent of steel and cement is used in highway construction and, if producers do not reduce prices we will formulate policies for use of alternative materials.”

A government official said that currently steel alternatives like synthetic fibre and composite fibre usage are permitted in privately-funded projects and a go-ahead for its usage in government-funded projects will require a changed policy structure for civil engineering standards.

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