Bharat Stage Norms Current Affairs
Delhi became the first city in India to supply ultra-clean Bharat Stage (BS) VI grade fuel (both petrol and diesel) with an aim to combat the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR region. State-owned oil firms have started supplying the BS-VI fuel (equivalent to fuel meeting Euro-VI emission norm) at all their 391 petrol pumps in NCT.
Other cities in NCR like Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad as well as other 13 major cities, including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune will roll-out cleaner BS-VI grade fuel from January 1 2019. However, BS-VI fuel will be rolled out in rest of the country by April 2020. By switching to BS-VI, India will join league of US, Japan and European Union, which follow Euro Stage VI emission norms.
The Union Government in October 2016 had decided to skip one stage and migrate to BS-VI directly from BS-IV from April 2020 to fight the growing pollution. The deadline for it in Delhi was brought forward to 2018 due to higher level of pollution i.e. thick toxic smog faced in winter season. It was part of concerted efforts of Government to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce carbon footprints and keep environment healthy.
Benefits of BS-IV fuel
The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and new BS-VI auto fuel norms is presence of sulphur. BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, while BS-V and BS-VI grade fuel will have 10 ppm sulphur. Thus, newly introduced BS VI fuel is estimated to reduce amount of sulphur released by 80%. It will also bring down the emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars by nearly 70 % and 25% from cars with petrol engines. It will also bring down cancer causing particulate matter emissions from diesel engine cars by phenomenal 80%.
German auto major Mercedes-Benz has unveiled India’s first BS-VI-compliant S Class car produced at its Pune facility. The BS-VI-compliant S Class car was unveiled more than two years ahead of Government’s deadline of April 2020 for switching to new BS-VI emission norms.
BS-VI-compliant S Class can run on BS-IV fuel, which will bring down NOx emissions by 68% and PM by 82%. This will lower the CO2 burden by 13% and fuel demand by 10%. This will pave way for other car manufacturers to introduce their vehicles which are compliant with new emission regulation
Bharat Stage Norms
Bharat stage (BS) emission standards are emission standards instituted by Central Government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change. These standards are based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000.
The Union Government in October 2016 had decided to skip one stage and migrate to BS-VI directly from BS-IV from April 2020 to fight the growing pollution. At present, all new vehicles being registered are BS- IV-emission compliant. By switching to BS-VI, India will join league of US, Japan and European Union, which follow Euro Stage VI emission norms.
Implications of BS-VI standard on environment
BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, while BS-V and BS-VI grade fuel will have 10 ppm sulphur. It will also bring down NOx emissions from diesel cars by 68% and 25% from petrol engine cars. Cancer causing particulate matter emissions from diesel engine cars will also come down by a phenomenal 80%.