After failing to meet the original deadline almost six months ago, the government has implemented Bharat Stage III (BS III) emission norms across the country a week ahead of the revised deadline of October 1.
Public sector oil companies — IOC, BPCL and HPCL — have spent more than R32,000 crore between them to supply higher grade fuel that facilitates the new emission norms.
In 13 big cities of the country, that includes the four metros, BS IV emission norms are already in place since April 1.
“We launched Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel in 13 big cities from April 1 and Euro-III grade fuel was to be introduced in the rest of the country in phases by October 1. We have already introduced Euro-III petrol and diesel in northeastern states (the last of the regions),” said Jitin Prasada, minister of state for petroleum.
The phased implementation of the norms saw petrol and diesel prices go up across the country by R0.26 and R0.21 per litre and Prasada said there will be no further hike. When BS-IV-grade fuel was launched in April, petrol prices and diesel were increased by R0.50 and R0.26 per litre.
The ultra-low-sulphur and -benzene BS III and BS IV petrol and diesel not only reduce exhaust emission from vehicles but also improve power and efficiency of vehicle engines.
The automobile industry, which was earlier peeved with the oil companies for not meeting their part of the bargain, welcomed the ahead-of-schedule implementation. Not waiting for the oil companies to upgrade, the industry had already upgraded their models to meet the new emission norms.
“The implementation of BS III auto fuel across the country enables the availability of better quality fuels and will improve the air quality with reduction in emission of pollutants in fuels to a great extent,” said Pawan Goenka, president, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.