Days after the Supreme Court ordered a ban on sale and registration of vehicles compliant to BS III fuel, the government has now launched fuel compliant to BS IV standard of emissions across the country. The launch of the low emission fuel was officially carried out by Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, in Bhubaneswar on the occasion of Utkal Diwas, the state foundation day. The government also plans to introduce BS VI fuel by April 2020. While BS IV fuel was already available in many cities in India, its official launch will make sure it is available in smaller cities as well.
Pradhan symbolically commenced sale of the low-emission fuel from 12 different locations across the country through live video links, PTI reported. The cities were Varanasi, Vijayawada, Durgapur, Gorakhpur, Imphal, Bhopal, Ranchi, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Guwahati and Shillong.
The union minister appreciated the oil companies for working in unison to bring about a major change such as this for the betterment of public health society. “Today, we begin a new era of clean transportation fuel that will benefit 1.25 billion citizens of our country by substantially reducing pollution levels everywhere,” he said.
A sum of about Rs 90,000 crore is being incurred by the oil marketing companies (OMCs) for phase wise fuel upgradation. “Migration to BS-IV fuels shows India’s resolve to cut down emissions. The next step is to usher in BS-VI fuels by April 1, 2020, to be at par with global standards,” the oil minister said. Though India is not a major polluting country, “we shall stand by the Prime Minister’s commitment at COP-21 in Paris that India will substantially reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions in coming years,” the minister added.