India to skip BS-V, leapfrog to BS-VI from 2020

India to skip BS-V, leapfrog to BS-VI from 2020

Aiming to curb vehicular pollution, the Centre on Wednesday decided to implement the stricter Bharat Stage (BS) VI norms from April 1, 2020, by altogether skipping BS-V.

The decision to leapfrog to BS-VI was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, which was attended by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

This means, oil companies in India have to supply petrol and diesel compliant with BS-VI, equivalent to Euro-VI norms followed globally.

Indian refiners will need to make investments to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore for upgrading technology to supply cleaner fuels.

At present, BS-IV ( similar to Euro-IV) fuel is being supplied in Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, parts of Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh. By April 1, 2017, the entire country is scheduled to come under BS-IV norms. BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, while BS-V and BS-VI grade fuel is more cleaner as it will have 10 ppm sulphur.

“The government has decided to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI directly by April 1, 2020. We have decided to skip BS-V stage. It is a bold decision and a commitment to the environment,” Gadkari told reporters after the meeting.

Gadkari also said he would appeal to automobile manufacturers to cooperate in the larger interest of the country.

Automobile industry body Siam, which has been opposing the move to jump directly to BS-VI, said it would comment only after seeing the notification.

The decision came at a time when air pollution, especially in the national capital, has become a major issue.

In a statement, the ministry said it would soon issue a notification to move to BS-VI, while withdrawing its earlier notification in November to advance dates for implementation of BS-V norms to April 1, 2019, and BS-VI norms to April 1, 2021.

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