The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) of Delhi and NCR has asked motor dealers not to stock Bharat Stage-III vehicles.
Sunita Narain, member EPCA and director general of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), told HT that in a series of meetings conducted on Wednesday with vehicle dealers in Delhi and the NCR region, the deadline to phase out vehicles with BS-III and below emission standards, was reiterated.
“After April 2017 the sale and registration of vehicles not complying with BS-IV emission norms will not be allowed. There was a lot of hue and cry around the phase out but there has been enough time given to the dealers to phase out their stock,” Narain said.
It has been six years since BS-IV was introduced in India in 2010. Last year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways also issued a draft notification making BS-IV norms mandatory across the country in a phased manner. The process started in October 2015.
At present, though comprehensive data is unavailable, experts estimate that out of the total vehicles registered in Delhi every day, half are still only BS-III compliant and below. About 1,500 vehicles are registered in the Capital every day.
Narain said that EPCA has written letters to all the state governments asking them not to register any vehicle with emission standards lower than BS-IV beyond March 31 next year.
Studies have found that the compliance of BS-IV standards will reduce particulate emissions by 80% and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels by at least 31%.
“The world has already moved towards BS-VI norms and we are still reluctant in moving to BS-IV. We have been in constant touch with the manufacturers and all the companies have the type approval of BS-IV in place, then why delay,” she said.
The government has set the deadline for introducing BS-VI norms in 2020.
Automobile experts, however, say that the transition from BS-III to BS-IV is a difficult one mainly because it will call for major technology changes from the automakers’ end.
“A genuine problem which most automakers have sighted is that they have not got enough time to upgrade their technology considering the two main elements — diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction module — would have to be adapted to India’s peculiar conditions, where running speeds are much lower than in Europe or the US,” Dr Prashant Srivastava, mechanical engineering department, IIT (Delhi).
He said that a government report of 2014 said that four years after the introduction of BS-IV petrol penetration in the domestic markets of metro cities was 24% and that of high-speed diesel was only 16%.