Delhi pollution: Govt advances BS-VI fuel norms by 2 yrs to 2018

Delhi pollution: Govt advances BS-VI fuel norms by 2 yrs to 2018

With  air pollution levels reaching hazardous limits in Delhi, the government on Wednesday decided to switch to stricter auto fuel norms two years in advance and implement Bharat Stage-VI grade fuel norms from April next year.

Earlier, the deadline to introduce BS-VI fuel norms was 2020. According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the BS-VI norms will be applicable only in Delhi from 2018.

For the NCR region that includes Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad, and Muzaffarnagar, the oil marketing companies have been asked only to examine the possibility if the BS-VI fuel norms can be introduced from April 2019.

"Taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas, the petroleum ministry in consultation with public oil marketing companies has decided for  advancement  of BS-VI grade auto fuels in NCT of Delhi w.e.f 01.04.2018 instead of 01.04.2020. OMCs have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of NCR area w.e.f 01.04.2019," the ministry said in a statement.

"This measure is expected to help mitigate the problem of air pollution in NCT of Delhi and surrounding areas," it said.

BS-VI grade fuel is, however, not available in the country as of now, but sources said the government is in talks with the state-owned oil marketing companies to reconfigure their operations and make the fuel available by April next year.

According to M K Surana, chairman and managing director of HPCL, production of BS-VI fuel should not be a problem for NCT (Delhi),but once the new norms come into force in the NCR, they will have to procure the new fuel from elsewhere, too.

Soon after the announcement, prominent auto makers in the country said they were not affected by the decision as lower grade engine (BS-1V) cars can run on higher grade fuel.

Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra and Mahindra expected that after advancing the new fuel norms, the government might give incentives to auto companies to switch to BS-V1 engines ahead of the 2020 deadline.

Goenka said BS-VI fuel is a must for BS-VI engines, while BS-IV compliant vehicles can run on BS-VI fuel.

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