Ensuring cost reduction in building of highways using steel, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry has issued orders that all steel – whether produced from ore, billets, pellets or melting of scrap – would be allowed to be used for National Highway construction, as long as it meets the standards required for specific grades of steel.
The steel proposed to be used would be tested in NABL-accredited laboratories as a third party check before approval. The move is based on the analysis and discussions with stakeholders and also technical opinion.
Earlier, the contract provisions required use of steel produced by primary/integrated steel producers only. In view of the increase in steel prices, which can impact the cost of building national highways, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari had suggested the need to re-look at all conditions which could be restrictive, without impacting the quality of material used for highway construction.
With this step, the supplier base for steel used in the construction of national highways would increase, leading to more competition and better price discovery by the markets.
This is also part of the continuous effort by the Minister to reduce costs through use of new technology, reducing restrictions on suppliers and making the procurement system transparent.