Enforcement of BSVI standards in India
Supreme Court ordered a complete ban on the sale and registration of Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) vehicles in the country from April 1, 2020.
What was the ruling?
- The manufacturers were allowed to manufacture BS-IV vehicles till March 31, 2020
- So the government proposed to give reasonable time till June 30, 2020, to sell those BS-IV vehicles.
- However, the court ordered that only BS-VI vehicles will be allowed after the April 1, 2020, at the same time BS-VI grade petrol and diesel would also come into force across the country.
- The court also said that the right to life (Article 21) includes the right of a citizen to live in a clean environment
- The court said the need of the hour was to move towards usage of cleaner fuel along with developing an engine accommodative to the fuels.
What are Bharat Stage emissions standards?
- The Bharat Stage emission standards are standards instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from the internal combustion engines.
- It includes both emission standards for new vehicles as well as specifications for commercial petrol and diesel fuels.
- In April 1999 the Supreme Court of India ruled that all vehicles in India have to meet Euro I or India 2000 norms by 1 June.
- The Central Pollution Control Board sets timelines and standards which have to be followed by automakers.
- BS norms are based on European emission norms which are referred to in a similar manner of ‘Euro 4’ and ‘Euro 6’.
|India 2000||Euro 1||2000||Nationwide|
|BS-II||Euro 2||2001||NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai|
|2003||NCR, 13 Cities|
|BS-III||Euro 3||2005||NCR, 13 Cities|
|BS-IV||Euro 4||2010||NCR, 13 Cities|
|BS-VI||Euro 6||April, 2018||Delhi NCR|
- Implementation of the intermediate BS-V standard was originally scheduled for 2019.
- But the Centre had announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.
What is the difference between BS-IV and BS-VI standards?
- The main difference between the existing BS-IV and the upcoming BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur.
- The BS-VI fuel is estimated to bring around an 80% reduction of sulphur, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm.
- The emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to come down by nearly 70% and 25% from cars with petrol engines.
- Also, BS VI will bring the cancer causing particulate matter in diesel cars by a phenomenal 80%.
What are the concerns raised?
- The Supreme Court verdict may hit the automobile industry as it takes years for automakers to develop a new kind of an engine or to tweak around with the current ones used in their vehicles.
- Then comes the task of setting up full scale production comes up.
- All of this comes at a cost which eventually makes the vehicle more expensive.
- This is a cause of concern for automakers given how price sensitive the Indian market is.
- In the previous transition, automakers were supposed to make their models BS IV compliant by April 1, 2017.
- While some automakers have met the targets and updated their products, there is a huge stock of vehicles left to be sold into the market that are BS-III compliant and as per the latest SC decision, they won’t be able to do so.
- Recently, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had told the court that the companies were holding stock of around 8.24 lakh such vehicles.
- Also, there is also the requirement of cleaner fuel to run these vehicles that comply with a stricter emission regulation as it is not feasible to make internal combustion engines pollute less while using poor quality of fuel.
- Using the introduction of higher grade fuel will be beneficial only if it is done in tandem with the rollout of BS-IV compliant vehicles.
- Using BS-VI fuel in the current BS-IV engines or, conversely, running BS-VI engines on the current-grade fuel, may be ineffective in curbing vehicular pollution.
- The Centre argues that automakers have been given enough time for the transition and they have done their part to provide cleaner fuel.
- However, automakers have a huge stock that does not comply with the soon-to-be-implemented BS VI emission norm and they risk facing huge losses.