Euro V: Delhi likely to beat rest in adopting new norm

But will need at least two years to prepare road map

 The capital may take the lead among Indian cities in enforcing the stricter Euro V norms to check vehicular emission.

The move was recently recommended by a  Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. The panel was set up after a World Health Organisation report in May ranked Delhi as the world’s worst city for air pollution. 

The current emission standards in Delhi and NCR allow higher limits for particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx), one of the major pollutants in city’s air.

“Euro V would be a significant improvement over existing norms,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, head of Centre for Science and Environment. She added that there was an immediate need for aligning with new standards to limit exhaust emission.

Toxic profile

If  Euro V norms are adopted, the toxic profile of diesel-powered vehicles would improve significantly. According to the Automotive Research Association of India report, diesel cars emit more particulate matter and other air toxics than comparable petrol cars. 

After accepting the committee’s recommendations on curbing water and air pollution, ushering in Euro V norms being one, Jung last week had ordered officials to submit a plan to implement the suggestions.

But experts say preparing a road map for higher emission standards will take at least two years.

“Industry always needs more time to respond. To begin with new vehicles should be made compliant with Euro V norms,” said K K Kapila, the chairperson of International Road Federation.

He added that there could be huge cost implications for both buyers and manufacturers.

Fuel complaint

Refineries would have to make the fuel complaint with Euro V norms, which would require both time and major budgetary push. 

“The priority should be to first enforce the existing emission standards. Pollution Under Control Certificates (PUC) certificates should be given after due diligence,” said Kapila, stressing on the need to enforce short term measures to address the alarming level of air pollution in the city. 

Some experts also suggest that the city should opt for Euro VI emission levels, applicable in Europe by 2015, instead of Euro V norms, applicable in Europe since September 2010.

In Euro VI, the emission level for particulate matter is half of that in Euro V norms. “Only at Euro VI levels, there could be more meaningful cut in emissions,” said Roychowdhury. 

She also said both the higher emission standards would require the same heavy-duty fuel.

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