The International Zinc Association has called for stricter enforcement of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) quality, especially with imports and unorganised players harming the sector.

Expressing concern over the lack of enforcement leading to flouting of norms in the unorganised sector, Rahul Sharma, the India director for the association, told Business Line , “We are keen that the mandatory norms are enforced so that consumers get quality products.

“In a country where we have a 7,800-km coastline, where there is higher salinity, it is all the more necessary to implement standards so that the steel does not corrode,” he said.

The BIS has laid out quality norms for steel roofing and cladding sheets to meet the required thickness of zinc coating and paint coating.

While India is a price-sensitive market, lack of awareness about zinc coating and steel sheet thickness among consumers has led to a proliferation of sub-standard coated and painted roofing sheets.

BIS norms ensure that the roof structure can withstand adverse conditions such as corrosion for durability.

Referring to a Mumbai-based consultancy’s study evaluating roofing and cladding sheets sold across India, Sharma said the imported products did not meet BIS or the Government of India Quality Control Orders (QCO) requirements. “Significantly, we are short of a proper enforcement mechanism. This means such products continue to be sold in the country against the established norms,” he said.

“Our findings showed that some of the domestically produced profiled roofing and cladding sheets were also sub-standard,” he said.

“With the country’s growth intricately linked to the steel industry, we hope and expect that the right quality galvanised steel will be used to ensure long life and safety.”

He said the International Zinc Association has been actively working to ensure quality and had taken up its concerns with the Government in March 2021.

However, apart from developers and architects, consumers too need to be vigilant and use the right products, he added.