Advancement of BS-VI fuel norms welcomed

Environmentalists have welcomed the Union Petroleum Ministry's decision to advance the rollout of cleaner BS-VI fuel in Delhi in an effort to improve the air quality.

BS-VI fuel will bring down sulphur by five times from the current BS-IV levels - A whopping 80% reduction and makes this fuel extremely clean.

However, the advancement at the moment is only on fuel standards, as automobile manufacturers will make their vehicles BS-VI compliant only from April 1, 2020 as decided in the clean fuel rollout's road-map.

"Though the full air quality gains will come when vehicles also move to BS-VI emissions standards, the current move should not be underestimated in a choking city like Delhi. With substantially cleaner fuel emissions, control system in on-road fleet will improve and give some emissions benefits" said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

As a consequence, the refineries would have to provide BS-VI fuel to Delhi while supplying BS-IV to the rest of the country. The government had earlier decided to leap frog from BS-IV to BS-VI for a cleaner environment.

"This is the kind of proactive and responsive leadership we need to see in our government. This is also the kind of drastic measure that is required given the scale of the crisis. We can't any more work with small and incremental steps to bring us the kind of air quality benefits that we need" said Sunita Narain, CSE chief.

While bulk of the sulphur dioxide in the air comes from coal-fired power plants, vehicles also emit it.

"It (sulphur dioxide) also (besides warming up the planet) helps generate more particulate matter (PM-2.5) in the atmosphere,' said Roychowdhury.

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