Bhubaneswar, May, 2019: Cyclone Fani is reported to be one of the strongest calamity to hit the coastal state in two decades and has led to losses of nearly Rs 12,000 crore, as per a government estimate. Unfortunately, the cyclone has led to a widespread loss of life and property. However, amidst the debris of houses, trees, and other public infrastructure the recently installed stainless steel bus shelters in the city have been barely affected. The overall structures remained intact despite the high intensity wind roaring up to 240 kmph, reflecting the strength of stainless steel in extreme weather conditions. These BQSs were installed in February this year by Jindal Stainless as part of a government project. Even after the cyclone they require minimal fixing, apart from replacing non-stainless steel multiwall roof sheets, city map doors and tube lights, which were damaged due to the falling of surrounding trees and signage. Jindal Stainless has already initiated the work to upkeep these BQSs.
Highlighting the role of stainless steel in social infrastructure, especially in natural calamity-prone areas and saline environment, Managing Director, Jindal Stainless, Mr Abhyuday Jindal said, “Odisha is a coastal state and is prone to frequent cyclones. Hence, there is an imperative need for choosing a strong and all-weather material for the safe and maintenance-free infrastructural demands of the city. The local administration had wisely chosen stainless steel for developing new infrastructure like bus queue shelters (BQSs). The standing stainless steel BQSs have highlighted the strength and unparalleled impact resistance aspects of the metal. Assessing the current situation, we urge the administration to adopt stainless steel in all future infrastructural projects and renovations.”
India has a vast coastline of nearly 7500 km. In order to reduce damage and strengthen infrastructure in coastal areas, there is a need for stainless steel infrastructure, primarily for the safety of the people residing in those regions. Additionally, stainless steel also resists accelerated deterioration due to coastal salt exposure. For example, the corrosion rate of mild steel is typically 100 times that of a good quality stainless steel grade in such environments. With an accurate and strategic choice of stainless steel grades and specifications, the material can retain its aesthetics for almost a century. On account of its impeccable corrosion resistance, stainless steel can be used in unpainted conditions and requires minimal maintenance. This results in saving high recurring maintenance costs. Moreover, usage of stainless steel improves the structural life of the infrastructure by 3 to 4 times, as compared to mild steel or any other metal. Thus, stainless steel provides the least life cycle cost as compared to any other alternative material.
From an environmental perspective, stainless steel, as a ‘green metal’, provides a sustainable and long-term infrastructural solution. It is therefore, crucial for coastal cities to adopt stainless steel for all infrastructure construction.