Press Esc to close

Delhi's BS-VI plan unlikely to work

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Nov 29 2017, 1:27 IST

On the face of it, the decision by the petroleum ministry to advance the introduction of BS-VI grade petrol and diesel in Delhi by two years to April 2018, and in the national capital region (NCR) by April 2019, appears to be a logical step in fighting air pollution. Delhi's air quality visibly deteriorated during the last two weeks, and is much worse than what it was at this time last year. As such, desperate remedies were called for, and they didn't seem forthcoming from the Delhi government, which has given up on the Odd-Even scheme that it introduced with great fanfare last year, or from any of the other authorities that control the national capital. The resolve to take the automobile industry from the current BS-IV grade fuel directly to BS-VI, bypassing the BS-V grade altogether, and ahead of an earlier deadline, may be commendable, but its implementation will confront both oil companies and automobile manufacturers with tough challenges.

Unusually, the initiative to improve air quality came not from the environment ministry, the guardian of all matters environmental, but from the petroleum ministry. Indeed, in repeated affidavits to the Supreme Court, the environment ministry has contested the Comprehensive Action Plan on clean air submitted by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) that had asked industry to manufacture and sell BS-VI models from April 1, 2020, and instead asserted that the technical challenges of leapfrogging to BS-VI are complex. Amazingly, the scheme contemplates Delhi, and later NCR, as a 'BS-VI island' in a country that will still be following BS-IV norms for the most part.

The petroleum ministry has promised to make BS-VI grade fuel available in Delhi from April next year and in all of NCR by April 2019. Even if the oil companies manage to meet these deadlines and automobile-makers provide BS-VI engine vehicles in time, coordination and monitoring of the scheme by the Centre and state governments will not be easy. Currently, over 10 million vehicles are registered in Delhi. In addition, some 5.7 lakh cars enter the city every day from other states, around 11% of them the more polluting diesel SUVs. There is another catch, too. What happens when a BS-VI vehicle has to tank up outside Delhi and NCR limits? A BS-VI engine cannot function on the inferior BS-IV fuel, and BS-VI fuel will not be available at fuel stations in the rest of the country even by the turn of the decade. Inarguably, air pollution must be curbed. But this requires wider consultations between the Centre, the states and other stakeholders. Desperate measures don't always work.

Go to Top

More from this section
Photo Gallery
An electricity board worker installs a new line for the upcoming Magh Mela festival at Sangam...

An electricity board worker installs a new line for the upcoming Magh Mela festival at Sangam...

An Indian paramilitary soldier marches past the MI-8 helicopter during its phasing out ceremony...

An Indian paramilitary soldier marches past the MI-8 helicopter during its phasing out ceremony...

Transgenders society members during a protest against 'TG Bill 2016' at Parliament Street...

Transgenders society members during a protest against 'TG Bill 2016' at Parliament Street...

Protestors burn posters of U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest, organised by...

Protestors burn posters of U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest, organised by...

A man walks past the Coronation Pillar at a park in north-west Delhi that marks the iconic...

A man walks past the Coronation Pillar at a park in north-west Delhi that marks the iconic...

A laptop bag made out of cement by Indian artist Somesh Singh exhibited at the Craft Beton...

A laptop bag made out of cement by Indian artist Somesh Singh exhibited at the Craft Beton...

A view of snow covered mountains of Kashmir valley which caused due to recent heavy snowfall...

A view of snow covered mountains of Kashmir valley which caused due to recent heavy snowfall...

Snow covered mountains of Pir Panjal range seen in the backdrop of Chamera Lake in Chamba on Sunday.

Snow covered mountains of Pir Panjal range seen in the backdrop of Chamera Lake in Chamba on Sunday.

A view of the Gomateshwara statue of Shravanabelagola in Karnataka. A scaffolding and visitors...

A view of the Gomateshwara statue of Shravanabelagola in Karnataka. A scaffolding and visitors...

A view of the illuminated Takhat Shri Harmandir Saheb Gurdwara to mark of 350th Prakash Parv...

A view of the illuminated Takhat Shri Harmandir Saheb Gurdwara to mark of 350th Prakash Parv...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.