The Jt. Director, of B.I.S., Kolkata during our meeting in 2001
confessed he was fully aware of the TMT farce but pleaded total helplessness. Some of the interesting information he gave
me throws light on the seriousness of the problem:
1. Spurious TMT was being sold near the offices of the
BIS but he could take no action. The traders were not making any claim whatsoever that the TMT bars had any particular yield
strength, UTS or elongation. Nor were they claiming that the deformed 'TMT bars' being sold by them conformed to any grade
of IS 1786:1985. The bars were merely being sold as TMT Bars so no crime had taken place. If an unsuspecting buyer bought
such bars under the mistaken belief that he was buying material superior to CTD bars, that was his problem, the trader
had made no such claim!
2. The neighbour of the Jt. Director had proudly informed
him that he had bought TMT Bars for his house instead of the 'rusty' CTD bars most others use. The Jt. Director could only
admonish him for not taking the Jt. Directors advice before spending such large sums of hard earned money for a house, a permanent
investment. The TMT bars turned out to have much lower yield strength and UTS than normal CTD bars!
3. He was under constant pressure from New Delhi (?) to
grant an IS certification to the deformed bars being made by a rolling mill in Kolkata even though the samples tested by his
inspectors had failed to pass the standard laid down.
4. When asked why the B.I.S. did not make it mandatory
for all deformed bars sold in India to have a mark or certificate specifying the minimum yield strength, as common in most
countries, he asked for a proposal which he would forward to Delhi. We hope this proposal will soon be implemented.
I queried quite a few mill owners in Kolkata about 'German
knowhow TMT Bars'. They happily revealed that it was very easy to obtain a letter from someone residing in Germany
confirming that he was giving the mill advice as to how to put water on the hot steel bar! And, as long as they were passing
the hot bars through water they were performing a 'thermomechanical treatment'.
It is common knowledge that water is used in all rolling mills,
at every mill stand. So, in a way it can always be claimed that thermo-mechanical treatment always takes place when producing
rolled bars. Thus, legally, every rolling mill owner can market his product as TMT Bars. And, they were doing so!
a mill at the owners request as he wished to order a Thermex Cooling System, a mill that was regularly manufacturing TMT bars!
When queried why he wanted to go in for Thermex when he was already a successful seller and producer of TMT Bars, he merely
smiled. Our visit to this mill was shocking. The mill was merely producing deformed bars without even the pretence
of any water treatment after the rolling operation. The bars were then directly sold as TMT Bars. Needless to say, he did
not get the Thermex System, but am told he has now ordered an Indian version, available from Rs. 50,000 to Rs 30 lakhs. Yes,
Rs fifty thousand only. Please see picture of one Indian version of cooling pipes used in a rolling mill to produce TMT Bars.