India’s oil ministry has announced it plans to advance the introduction of
cleaner auto grade fuel Bharat Stage VI or BS VI in Delhi by 2018 and the
larger National Capital Region (NCR) by 2019. The move comes in the wake of the
alarming pollution levels this month which have led authorities to declare a
public health emergency.
desperate the situation is, can be seen from what a government official has
said: “Nothing more is likely to happen this year. We are now praying. Only God
can save us.”
“Taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas,
the petroleum ministry in consultation with Oil Marketing Companies has decided
for preponement of BS-VI grade auto fuels in
Delhi with effect from April 1, 2018 instead of April 1, 2020. The OMCs have also been
asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of NCR with effect from April 1,
2019,” the ministry said in a statement.
The amount of sulphur in both petrol and diesel in BS-VI fuel is limited to a
maximum of 10 parts per million (PPM), similar to that of its Euro counterpart.
The oil retailers introduced the BS-IV grade auto fuel across the country in
April 2017 and planned to leapfrog to BS-VI grade fuel by April 2020. The
companies have already invested around Rs 30,000 crore in order to upgrade
their facilities to adhere to the grade change.
Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said last week the ministry is also planning to
announce a new Bio-fuel policy under which the OMCs will procure agriculture
waste from farmers and use it as raw material to produce second-generation
ethanol. Pradhan said the Bio-fuel policy will help eliminate the practice of
stubble burning by farmers to improve the air-quality around Delhi.