NEW DELHI: In a bid to curb pollution levels in the country, the government on Wednesday decided to implement stricter emission norms of Bharat Stage (BS) VI from April 1, 2020, by skipping BS-V altogether.
The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, which was attended by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
“Government has decided to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI directly by April 1, 2020. We have decided to skip BS-V emission norms. It is a bold decision and a commitment to environment,” Gadkari said.
The decision came a day after the Supreme Court asked the Central government why it could not directly implement Bharat State VI emissions norms that are equivalent to Euro VI standards. Earlier, the government had planned that BS-V norms would come into effect from 2019 and BS-VI from 2021 for four wheelers.
India currently has BS-III, equivalent of Euro-III specifications, across the country and BS-IV in major cities. “BS-IV will be supplied in most big cities by April 2016 and all over the country from April 2017,” Gadkari said.
The SC said that BS-VI will bring the country under the ambit of the tighter pollution control standard. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, said it would be difficult as it would need upgradation of refineries and moreover, the government has decided to implement BS-IV emission norms in the entire country from April 2017.
Pradhan informed that oil PSUs to invest about Rs 28,750 crore for switching over to BS-VI auto fuels, keeping in view the environmental impact, rising pollution levels and consequent health hazards due to vehicular pollution.
At present, BS-IV auto fuels are being supplied in northern India, parts of Rajasthan and western UP. The rest of the country has BS-III grade fuel.
The particulate matter emission in BS-V and BS-VI is same for diesel cars though it is 80 % less than BS IV. The nitrogen oxide level is, however, 55 per cent less in BS-VI over BS-V.
The sulphur content in fuel norms for diesel and petrol under both BS-V and VI standards does not change at 10 ppm, though it is less than 50 mandated for both the fuels under BS-IV.