The government has decided to advance the deadline for implementation of higher vehicle emission norms by three years to address the deteriorating air quality. India, which currently follows Bharat Stage (BS) IV norms in many cities, will move to BS V norms from April 2019, against an earlier timeline of April 2022. Similarly, the BS VI norm will now come into effect from April 2021, as against April 2024. The ministry of road transport and highways has issued a draft notification in the same regard. BS IV will be extended to the entire country by April 2017. The draft norms for two- and three-wheeler categories will be notified shortly with advanced timelines similar to the four-wheeler category. “The minister of road transport and highways [Nitin Gadkari] is keen that the road transport sector should take a lead role in reducing the harmful effects of emissions on environment and climate change”, said a government statement.
The move from BS III to IV is supposed to bring down the particulate matter from cars to half (0.0250 gm/km) and to one-fifth in commercial vehicles (0.02 gm/km).
A shift to BS V will mean further reduction from 0.0250 gm/km to 0.0045 gm/km in case of cars. But no gain is expected in case of commercial vehicles. The shift to BS VI will reduce particulate matter from commercial vehicles to half (0.01 gm/km) but keep the emission from cars unchanged.
The movement from IV to V and further to VI will require huge chunks of investments from the oil marketing companies who will need to upgrade the refineries to produce better quality fuels. The oil industry has invested Rs 35,000 crore to upgrade the refineries to produce BS III and IV fuel. The retail fuel price will also move up with this. The automobile manufacturers will also need to make significant changes to make vehicles compliant to higher emission, norms, especially in diesel run vehicles. An increase in prices of cars and commercial vehicles will also follow.