Latest revelations expose the business conglomerate Vishal Group’s business practices that put construction safety, human health at risk
KATHMANDU, Oct 5: Vishal Group’s Kamala Rolling Pvt Ltd is also found manufacturing and supplying substandard steel bars in the market.
The revelation of substandard steel and iron products of Vishal Group, a business conglomerate, follows a recent scam of relabeling expired fast moving consumer products including chocolates at a huge scale. Most of the products and chocolates that the police raided and confiscated from three houses in Kalanki and Bafal were the brands that Vishal Group imports and distributes in the market.
Now, it has also been revealed that another manufacturing company belonging to Vishal Group has been producing iron and steel bars flouting the standards set by the authorities. After finding that the iron and steel products of Vishal Group’s Kamala Rolling Pvt Ltd were substandard quality, the Nepal Bureau of Standards & Metrology (NBSM) has initiated an action against the company.
FE 500 TMT Bars of 10mm, 16 mm, 20 mm and 25 mm were found to have higher levels of chemical properties than allowed.
Bishwo Babu Pudasaini, the department’s Director General, said that the license of Kamal Rolling Pvt Ltd has been suspended after its iron and steel bars were found to be substandard. “We have directed the industry to halt the production after its iron bars were found to be against the standards,” he said. “ We will take action against the industry in accordance with the law.”
The iron bars had 0.06 percent of sulphurs of 0.06 percent compared to the maximum limit of 0.055 percent, 0.59 percent of phosphorus compared to the limit of 0.055 percent and 0.119 percent of sulphur and phosphorus compared to the maximum limit of 0.105 percent. If the steel bars constitute a higher percentage of sulphur, it increases the brittleness of the bars and decreases the weldability. If there is low ductility, the steels could get ruptured or broken.
Following the complaints about the substandard quality of steel bars of Kamala Rolling, the department has sent the samples for the test in its lab. The test results found the higher use of chemicals by flouting the standards. The department has also ordered the company to recall those products from the market. The letter sent by Dinanath Mishra, Deputy Director General of NBSM, to the industry, states that the department has initiated action against the industry in line with the Clause 16 of the Nepal Standard (Certification-mark) Rules, 2046 .
Construction experts say that the use of substandard steel bars jeopardize the quality as well as safety of the construction projects like houses, bridges and buildings.
Earlier last week, Vishal Group’s connection with an ‘organized’ practice of relabeling expired fast-moving consumer products including chocolates at a massive scale was also exposed. The Police raid in three houses full of chocolates and other products like chips and biscuits in Kalanki and Bafal has busted a racket changing the labels of wrappers of such products and supply back in the market.
While the Department of Commerce, Supplies & Consumer Protection (DoCSCP) is still investigating the case, a senior official at the department had told Republica that their initial findings show the connection of Vishal Group with the fraudulent and illegal practice. Most of the expired products like Snickers, Oreo biscuit, Pringles chips which were sent to the market after changing the labels are imported in Nepal by the business conglomerate Vishal Group.
While admitting that it imports and distributes those products in Nepali market, Vishal Group, however, denied the allegations about its involvement in the practice of relabeling those products. It has also said that it does not have any direct or indirect relations with Ayan Distributor which has been found to be carrying out the relabeling.