Indian government announced that steel from other producer will be allowed for highways, provided these meet the quality parameters, aimed at ensuring cost reduction in highways construction using steel. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways vide a 12 February 2021 circular Reinforcing Steel Bars: Ministry's Specifications for Road and Bridge Works amended "All steel shall be procured from producers who manufacture billets directly from iron ores and roll the billets to produce steel conforming to IS: 1786. No re-rolled steel shall be incorporated in the works. The steel shall also be procured from other producers provided it is manufactured from the billets made directly from iron ores and not from shredded scrap and sponge iron as basic feedstock. In such cases, the other producers will have to submit the proof of purchase such as GST, Invoice etc from the billet producers to establish that billets are made directly from iron ores and have been procured from them. The steel shall be got tested by the Engineer in the NABL affiliated laboratories only as a third party check. It shall be ensured that all the test results conform to IS: 1786."
MoRTH circular said “Clause 1009.3.1 of Ministry’s specification for Road and Bridge works has been amended "For plain and reinforced cement concrete or pre stressed concrete works, the reinforcement & unmentioned steel as the case may be, shall consist of the following grades of reinforcing bars
Mild Steel: Grade-1 (conforming to IS 432)
High Strength Deformed Steel: Fe415, Fe415D, Fe415S, Fe500, FeSOOD, Fe500S, Fe550, Fe550D & Fe600 (conforming to IS 1786)
If any grade of steel given above is not available steel of next higher grade may be used.
For seismic zones III, IV & V, HSD steel bars having minimum elongation of 14.5% shall be used. For seismic zones III, IV and V, the actual 0.2% proof strength of steel bars based on tensile test must not exceed their characteristic 0.2% proof strength by more than 20 percent and the ratio of the actual ultimate strength to the actual 0.2 percent proof strength yield strength shall be at least 1.15.”
MoRTH circular added “All the manufacturers & suppliers, as the case may be, shall supply the purchaser or his authorized representative with the certificate stating the process of manufacture and also the test sheet signed by the manufacturer giving the result of each mechanical test applicable for each lot of the material supplied and chemical composition. Sample shall be got tested by the Authority’s Engineer, Independent Engineer, Supervision Consultant in the NABL accredited laboratories only, as a third party check before source approval. It shall be ensured that all the test results conform to IS: 432 (MS) or IS: 1786 (HSD). Only new steel shall be delivered to the site. Every bar shall be inspected before assembling on the work and defective, brittle or burnt bars shall be discarded. Bars with cracked ends shall be discarded.”
In view of the increase in steel prices, which can impact the cost of building national highways, Road Transport & Highways Minister Mr Nitin Gadkari had recently suggested the need to re-look at all conditions which could be restrictive, without impacting the quality of material used for highway construction.