Centre for Science and Environment welcomes Union government’s move to help clean Delhi’s air
In a welcome move, the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has announced a 2-year advancement of the introduction of Bharat Stage (BS)-VI fuel norms from April 1, 2018 in Delhi, currently suffering from its worst smog crisis in years.
BS-VI norms are scheduled to be implemented across India in April 2020. BS-VI fuel will bring down sulphur by 5 times from the current BS-IV levels—a whopping 80 per cent reduction and would make fuel extremely clean.
The Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the move and said it would like to thank the MoPNG for responding to the smog crisis in Delhi and taking the drastic proactive measure.
“This is the kind of proactive and responsive leadership we need to see in our government. This is also the kind of drastic measure that is required given the scale of the crisis. We cannot anymore work with small and incremental steps to bring us the kind of air quality benefits that we need,” said Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE.
Ironically, this leadership has come from the MoPNG and not from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF&CC) that remains the nodal ministry for environmental regulations. In fact, points out CSE, the MoEFCC has given repeated affidavits to the Supreme Court contesting the provision of the Comprehensive Action Plan on clean air submitted by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) that has asked industry to both manufacture and sell BS-VI models from April 1, 2020. MoEF&CC has mentioned in its affidavit that “the technical challenges of leapfrogging directly from BS-IV to BS-VI are far more complex and challenging. If the date shifts to become the date of registration then it would actually reduce the time available to industry for manufacturing to a mere two years or so although BS-VI fuel will not be available across the country till April 1, 2020”.
“Even though the full air quality gains will come when vehicles also move to BS-VI emissions standards, the current move should not be underestimated in a choking city like Delhi. With substantially cleaner fuel emissions, control system in on-road fleet will improve and give some emissions benefits,” added Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, CSE and head of the organisation’s air pollution campaign.
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