New Delhi– In a move to tackle the high pollution levels in the Indian capital, the government on Wednesday brought forward the implementation of the BS-VI compliant cleaner transport fuels in Delhi by two years saying the requirement would now be effective in 2018.
“Taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas, the Petroleum Ministry in consultation with public oil marketing companies (OMCs) has decided for preponement of Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) grade auto fuels in NCT of Delhi w.e.f 01.04.2018 instead of 01.04.2020,” an official release said here.
“OMCs have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of NCR area w.e.f 01.04.2019,” it said.
“This measure is expected to help mitigate the problem of air pollution in NCT of Delhi and surrounding areas,” it added.
Noting that oil refiners are making huge investments in fuel upgradation to produce the required BS-VI grade fuels, the government said it had decided to “leapfrog directly from BS-IV to BS-VI grade by 1st April, 2020, skipping BS-V altogether”.
The BS-IV grade transportation fuels were rolled out across the country from April 1, 2017.
Illegal crop burning in the neighbouring states coupled with vehicular and industrial emissions have caused a sharp deterioration in the air quality in Delhi beginning earlier this month along with the onset of cooler weather.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers on Wednesday welcomed the decision, describing it as a “step in the right direction” following best practices globally.
According to Abhay Firodia, President, SIAM, the decision will give confidence to the auto industry about the availability of the fuel grade across the country from April 1, 2020.
“Use of BS-VI fuel with lower sulphur content may also improve the particulate emissions from the existing fleet of vehicles which are presently plying in the national capital to some extent,” Firodia said.
“In addition, if the government also effectively enforces the order to remove old BS II and earlier vintage vehicles from plying in the national capital, it would greatly reduce the contribution of vehicular pollution in the region,” he added. (IANS)