Bangalore and most parts of the country have moved up on reducing pollution by switching to Bharat Stage IV norms, but the country still has a long way to go. For starters, India still does not have a proper auto fuel policy, according to experts who spoke at a regional workshop on fuel efficiency. Gaurav Bhansal of the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), Washington, said India was way behind in implementing cleaner fuel and vehicle emission parametres.
“Not only does India need a new auto fuel policy, it should also be uniform across the country. Presently, some cities have advanced emission norms for vehicles while other cities are lagging behind,” he said.
Sumit Sharma of The Energy and Researches Institute (TERI), New Delhi, said there was a disparity in the country in terms of fuel efficiency. He too stressed on the need for an auto fuel policy saying, “Despite the growth in vehicular population, only 4.7% of our population has cars and 21% has two-wheelers according to the 2011 Census. This essentially means that there is much scope for growth, especially taking into account the growing income of Indians. While NOx levels are under control for the most part, there is an increasing risk of it crossing the standards. Eighty per cent of Indian cities have RSPM levels above the permissible limits”.
Although air pollution is the 5th biggest killer in the country, studies have shown that close to 48,000 deaths can be reduced annually if fuel efficiency standards are followed,” he said, adding that this should be a strong case for a uniform and updated auto fuel policy.
“A lot of technological changes can be seen in the automobile industry if there is some regulation in terms of fuel efficiency for vehicles. However, this policy should focus on overall improvements,” he said.
He explained that in order to improve fuel efficiency, one aspect was advanced technology. However, this only contributed to about 30% of the fuel efficiency of vehicles.