Auto industry said the government’s move to advance introduction of BS VI fuels in the Capital is a step in the right direction to fight pollution but it is not in a position to launch vehicles complying with the strict emission norm before April 2020.
Industry players also said there has to be a holistic approach to combat pollution in the national Capital and focus must also be on phasing out old vehicles.
“Directionally, we feel it is a step in the right direction to fight pollution in Delhi. However, as far as the automobile industry is concerned we are already working on a stretched deadline to launch BS VI vehicles by April 2020,” Mahindra & Mahindra Managing Director Pawan Goenka told PTI.
He was reacting to the announcement by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas that introduction of BS VI fuels will be advanced to April 2018 in the national capital territory considering the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas.
The ministry also said oil marketing companies have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of NCR from April 1, 2019.
When asked if companies could launch BS VI vehicles by 2018, Goenka, who is also the past-president of SIAM said it was unlikely that automobile manufacturers would be able to do it so soon.
“I don’t foresee any mainline player with multiple models being able to launch complete portfolio of BS VI compliant vehicles by April 2018,” he said.
He further said, “We at Mahindra are working on all our ongoing projects with the April 2020 deadline in mind.”
Expressing similar views, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Director General Vishnu Mathur said: “We have been given a roadmap by the ministry of road transport for implementation of BS-VI norms by April 2020 and we are working on the basis of that timeline. It is not possible for the industry to advance that date at this stage.”
Highlighting a potential problem with the launching of BS-VI vehicles only for Delhi, Goekna said, “It is also not feasible as the fuel will not be available outside the Capital and BS-VI vehicles cannot run on BS-IV fuel”.
Calling for a holistic approach to address the pollution issue, Mathur said, “Leaving aside other sources of pollution, if we are looking at addressing vehicular pollution then old vehicles above 10-15 years depending on the type of fuel used need to be phased out.”