Can India check the car's claims?
maruti Suzuki has launched a world-class model, compact A-star. The company claims the vehicle is powered by an engine that meets the current as well as future environmental norms and is fuel-efficient. But does India have a mechanism in place to verify these claims?
Vehicles in certain key cities in India follow the emission norms stipulated under Bharat III (counterpart of Euro III); by 2010, Euro IV will be introduced in Delhi. These norms specify limits for carbon monoxide, NOx and hydrocarbons emissions among other parameters for vehicles. Compact A-star goes a step further: it meets Euro v norms.
It also complies with the European elv (End of Life Vehicle) specifications, which ask manufacturers to ensure the reuse, recycling and recovery of the materials used in the vehicle and not to use heavy metals. Maruti Suzuki claims 85 per cent of A-star is recyclable and that the car is free from hazardous lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium. Vehicles in India do not follow elv specifications. "There is a need to specify useful life of a vehicle and to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for automobile recycling," said I V Rao, managing executive officer (Engineering) of Maruti Suzuki.
Industry experts hope that after the launch of A-star several auto companies may follow suit. Dinesh Mohan of iit, Delhi, said the government should encourage manufacturers and buyers of environmentally efficient vehicles.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.