Bharat Stage-VI in 3 years
From April 1, India will move towards Bharat Stage IV emission norms, which are already in place in several parts of the world.
We have also decided to leapfrog straight to the BS-VI emission norms by April 2020. To accomplish this the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had issued a draft notification in this regard.
BS-V which was originally scheduled to be implemented by 2019 and the BS-VI emission norms which were proposed to come by 2024 has been advanced by 4years
Rationale behind this move:
- To fulfill the commitments that India made at the Climate change conference at Paris in 2015.
- Public sentiment against dangerously high levels of air pollution in major Indian cities.
India’s emission standards:
Bharat stage emission standards are norms that are formulated by the government to regulate air pollution from internal combustion engine. India has been following the European emission standards but with a five-year time lag.
Emission norms were introduced in 1991 and catalytic converters were made mandatory in 1996 to cut emissions. Most automobile manufacturers had to upgrade technology to implement this.
BS-I and BS-II norms which are broadly equivalent to Euro-I and Euro-II norms were notified after a landmark supreme court judgement in this regard.
Concerns that are being raised:
- Automakers have raised concerns that the shift to BS-VI may not result into a perceptible change in air quality but will increase the price of vehicles.
- Challenge to upgrade the existing technology in the time that is made available as automakers have to make significant design changes.
- Concerns have been raised on the ability of the oil marketing companies to upgrade fuel quality from BS-IV to BS-VI which involves huge capital expenditure.
- The existing model in which high grade fuel is introduced first in cities is fundamentally flawed. As vehicles using a lower emission standard will continue to ply within the periphery of these cities defeating the basic purpose of containing air pollution.
Thus, though dirty air is a public emergency but it will not be easy to shift directly from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norms. It is important that the concerns of all concerned stakeholders are kept in mind to achieve the basic objective of a cleaner air and to fulfill our international obligations.