Taking into account severe pollution levels in Delhi, the central government has decided to roll out stricter fuel norms from April, two years earlier than scheduled in the National Capital Region. With this, all the new vehicles will have to be BS-VI compliant in the NCR. This is likely to make the cars, SUVs and other vehicles expensive, say experts.
Bharat Stage-VI fuel norms will be implemented from 1 April 2018, two years ahead of the April 2020 deadline, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas announced on Wednesday. The move is an effort to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency in the national capital, the ministry said.
The decision was taken in consultation with oil marketing companies. Oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have been asked to look at the possibility of introducing the new auto fuels in the NCR area from April 2019. Automakers have so far been required to be ready with the BS-VI compliant vehicles by 1 April 2020. Now with the new deadline for fuel norms, automakers will have to sell BS-VI compliant vehicles from next year. However, the existing vehicles can run on the BS-IV fuel, point out experts.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had introduced the BS-IV grade transportation fuels across the country from April this year. Now looking at the rising pollution levels, it has decided to switch from BS-IV directly to BS-VI grade. Oil refining companies are said to be making huge investments in fuel upgrade projects to produce the BS-VI grade fuels.
The air quality in Delhi continues to be a health hazard as pollution levels have crossed dangerous levels with the air quality index hitting a peak of 486 on a scale of 500.