March 02, 2017: The maiden regional conference of Eastern States, on the theme of ‘Enhancing steel consumption in India’ was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Steel Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh today in Gangtok, Sikkim. Considering the low per capita steel consumption at 61 Kg in India vis-à-vis the world average of 208 Kg, there is a significant potential for improving the domestic steel consumption and this conference will explore all such avenues of steel use promotion. Speaking on the occasion, the steel Minister emphasized on the numerous advantages of steel and promotion of steel intensive structures for longevity, safety and reducing costs during the construction and added that steel industry should develop innovative ways to make common man understand the numerous advantages of Steel.
The minister said, “Steel is a product which has strong forward and backward linkages in terms of material flows and income generation. From construction, industrial machinery to consumer products, steel finds its way into a wide variety of applications.” He added that a strong steel industry is the foundation of nation’s rapid industrial development and India has become world’s 3rd largest steel producer and is expected to achieve an installed capacity of 300 MT of crude steel by 2030-31. The minister added that, “The flagship programmes announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, especially Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India and Skill India, the intense thrust given by the Central Government on Affordable housing by giving it an infrastructure status, expansion of railway networks, development of domestic shipbuilding industry, opening up of defence sector for private participation, and the anticipated growth in the automobile sector, would lead to substantial demand for steel in the country.”
The Minister has been advocating the use of Swadeshi steel which is the way forward not only for steel consumption but also for sustainable growth of the steel industry and economy. The delegates in the conference explored various modern options like use of Light weight high performance steel, pre-fab steel structures, steel use in ROBs, flyovers, crash barriers on Highways etc at a time which is most appropriate to showcase the immense advantages of use of steel in various applications. During the conference, the environment friendly and 100% recyclable properties of the material which provides cost effective solution to all construction projects in both urban and rural areas was also discussed. During the conference, various initiatives taken by the Ministry of Steel for steel promotion in Eastern India were also highlighted. Low cost housing projects, steel based sports stadia, other infrastructure for hilly terrains/seismic zones, development of low cost steel frame houses and pre-fab steel intensive dwelling suiting the needs of the terrain of eastern India are some of them.
A customer meet for eastern region was also organized by Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) before the inauguration of the regional conference. The attendees of SAIL customer meet also benefitted by the discussions during the regional conference.
The regional conference was also attended by Mr. Sunil Barthwal, Joint Secretary, Steel Ministry, Mr. PK Singh, Chairman, SAIL, Mr. M. Bhaduri, CMD, HSCL and Mr. Sushim Banerjee DG, INSDAG and representatives from private steel sector. The delegates in the conference also included Mr. Anjan Mitra, Principal Architect, the Appropriate Alternative, Kolkata, Mr. Dhananjay Dake, Founder Director, Construction Catlalyser, Pune, Mr. KK Rasaily, Architect & Structural Engineer, Gangtok, Mr. Kunal Sutradhar, M/s Kirby India Ltd. who presented their views on increasing steel consumption and enlightened the gathering on innovative steel usage and its unique properties. The conference marked attendance from several other decision makers in projects in central and state Governments, architects, structural designers and consultants, project financers, contractors, fabricators, erectors, Faculties from Metallurgy, Mechanical and Civil Engineering departments, representatives from large infrastructure industry, steel/engineers/architect associations. The occasion provided a unique platform for exchange of user perspective and producers response.