The Central government has informed the Supreme Court that BS-VI fuel will be made available in 17 out of 23 districts in National Capital Region by April 1, 2019. This further confirms that Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad will have BS-VI compliant fuel in 2019. Oil companies have already begun the production of BS-VI fuel and sale of the fuel has commenced in Delhi. The government told a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that BS-VI fuel will also be made available in Agra in Uttar Pradesh on or before April 1, 2019.
The Indian automobile industry is currently working on converting its fleet to BS-VI compliant emission norms by April 2020. Availability of the fuel has been the critical factor to meet this deadline and oil companies are investing heavily to upgrade their oil refineries to ensure timely roll out and delivery of BS-VI fuel. Equipped with the required vehicular technology, almost all automakers are confident of adopting these new emission norms by April 2020.
Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, representing the government, told the bench that it would not be possible to change the pricing structure of diesel since the maximum basic excise duty was already being levied on the fuel. As far as other 12 metropolitan cities are concerned, it is not possible to make BS-VI fuel available there by April 1, 2019, but all attempts would be made to make it available in these areas by April 1, 2020, he further added.
Various ministries including Petroleum and Road Transport along with government-appointed agencies like ARAI and green tribunal have set the new BSVI standards. It largely focuses on the reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx), Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide and Particulate Matter released from combustion engines. Indian Oil has already started to supply BS-VI fuel to various automakers for them to test the fuel.
Air-pollution is a serious threat and while India gets ready for future of mobility and looks at hybrids and electric vehicles, this move to BS-VI is certainly the right move and will help reduce the overall pollution in the country.
With quotes from PTI
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