The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it will advance the deadline for supply of Bharat Stage (BS)-VI auto fuels by two years and will start supplying the cleaner fuels in all the retail outlets of Delhi from April 1.
The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it will advance the deadline for supply of Bharat Stage (BS)-VI auto fuels by two years and will start supplying the cleaner fuels in all the retail outlets of Delhi from April 1. The BS-VI emission standard was originally scheduled to come into force from April 1, 2020 across the country. The ministry of petroleum and natural gas (MoPNG), in its affidavit, told the apex court that “after taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas, the possibility of preponing the introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the NCT of Delhi was explored in consultation with PSU oil marketing companies. After considering the environmental benefit of early introduction of BS-VI fuels, it was decided to prepone the supply of BS-VI fuel in Delhi from April 1, 2018 itself and necessary directions were issued to the OMCs.” It also submitted that all the OMCs having retail outlets in Delhi – IOC, BPCL, HPCL, Reliance Industries, Essar Oil Ltd – have confirmed availability of BS-VI petrol from April this year.
The statement came in response to the apex court’s query earlier this month asking the government to file an affidavit indicating the position as regards the availability of BS-VI emission standard compliant fuel in Delhi. The Supreme Court had on February 5 told the government that it cannot take the issue lightly as the issue of vehicular pollution was “very serious” and a “critical problem” and will impact not only on this generation but also on yet to be born children. Even environmentalists had said that Euro-VI could substantially reduce pollution levels in the vehicle concentrated national capital.
The apex court had in March last year banned the sale and registration of vehicles, which were not BS-IV compliant, in India from April 1, 2017 when the new emission norms came into force. It had observed that the health of the people was “far, far more important than the commercial interests” of the manufacturers. Advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae (friend of the court), had told the bench that the BS-VI norms should be made applicable in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR) from April 1, 2019 as the government itself had acknowledged that the people were suffering due to pollution. Singh also said that cars, which were not BS-VI compliant, should not be allowed to be registered after the new norms came into effect. Referring to data, she said pollution would come down by around 80% in case of the BS-VI vehicles compared to the BS-IV ones.