Hundreds Of Crores Looted Through The Sale Of Adulterated MS Rods In Assam: Report

Hundreds Of Crores Looted Through The Sale Of Adulterated MS Rods In Assam: Report

The prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed in the state of Assam, and for which no steps are being taken by the state government to curb it. There is also no department or authority to control the price and quality of materials used especially in the construction of houses.

Prices of rods, cement, sand, etc. used in the construction of houses have also risen sharply in the last few years. It is noteworthy that there are supervisory bodies similar to the one overseeing other departments, but no such supervisory body is available to oversee the construction of houses or other construction work.

Mild Steel (MS) rods have a high demand among other building materials in the state, the prices of which vary according to their shapes. These rods, which are carved out of coal ores, are manufactured by steel companies and are later released to the market for consumers.

The steel companies sell these rods at Rs 26-30 per kg from scrap metals that are bought at Rs 10-15 per kg. Therefore, the price per quintal of these rods should range between Rs. 4,000-4,500 in the marketplace. On the other hand, rods made from other ores should cost between Rs. 4500-5000.

However, the price per quintal of these rods in Assam ranges from Rs. 5500 to Rs. 6000 in addition to GST.

On the other hand, the price of rods which are made from wool-shaped lumbers ranges between Rs. 8000-8500 per quintal in the market.

Local and national steel companies both are reportedly not complying with the guidelines issued by the Central Government in manufacturing these rods. In many cases, the quality is also compromised due to the use of other materials in manufacturing.

There are over 250 rod manufacturing factories in the state. However, the irregularities that were reported in manufacturing these rods do not come to light due to lack of proper inspection and testing, and for which customers are bound to use these low-quality rods in the construction of their houses.

Even though new guidelines were issued by the central government, companies are still using the obsolete 2018 guidelines. It is also noteworthy how the cost of construction materials such as rods, cement, bricks, sand, etc has shot up in an unimaginable way.

Usually, it costs Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800 per square foot for the construction of flats. In that case, the price of a 2BHK flat should be less than Rs 20 lakh, but rather, it costs around Rs 35-40 lakh now.

An average customer thinks he/she purchases these rods at a reasonable rate. They are however unaware of the fact that there are guidelines that determine the quality of these rods.

According to the conditions laid down by the Central Government, a 6 mm rod should weigh not more than 0.22 kg per meter.

Similarly, in case of 8 mm rod, it should weigh 0.39 kg per meter, in case of 10 mm rod, it should weigh 0.62 kg per meter, 16 mm rod should weigh 1.58 kg per meter, 20 mm rod should weigh 2.46 kg per meter, 25 mm rod should weigh 3.85 kg per meter, 28 mm rod should weigh 4.84 kg per meter and 30 mm rod should weigh 6.32 kg per meter.

However, it appears that this is often ignored by many rod manufacturers of Assam including Shree Sanyeeji Rolling Mills, Nezone Industries Ltd, Brahmaputra Material Limited, Brahmaputra TMT Bar Pvt Ltd, Surendra Steel Pvt Ltd, Brahmaputra Rolling Mills Pvt Ltd, J&M Metal Pvt Ltd, MPK Steel India Pvt Ltd, JP Steel Ltd, Ladi Steel Industrial Pvt Ltd, Jaiswal Steel Rolling Mills, Sagar Steels etc.

There is no organization or supervisory body to monitor the rods that these companies manufacture and bring to the market for consumers. These rods are then used in various construction works of government and non-government buildings in the state.

Hence, the lifespan of these infrastructures including bridges, houses, buildings etc is affected as low-quality rods are being used. The contractors are evidently indulging themselves in a big scandal.

The general public protests against rising prices of vegetables or other food items as well as petrol and diesel, but that's not the case of construction materials. Traders and companies take advantage of the same.

There are also several cement manufacturing companies in the state and likewise, consumers buy them at a higher rate as compared to other neighboring states.

In the case of sand too, traders have deliberately increased prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The price of bricks has also significantly increased in the last few days.

As a result, completion of the construction-related work has now become a challenge.

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