Delhi pollution: SC-appointed body tells two-wheeler makers to meet BS IV emission deadline
The EPCA pulled up two wheeler manufacturers, especially Hero and Honda, for the delay in stopping production of two wheelers that were not BS IV emission standards compliant.delhi Updated: Feb 21, 2017 00:04 IST
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on Monday pulled up two wheeler manufacturers, especially Hero and Honda, for the delay in stopping production of two wheelers that were not BS IV emission standards compliant.
In April 2016, it was directed that vehicles that were not BS IV emission standards compliant would not be registered after April 1, 2017. The EPCA alleged that despite being reminded of the deadline and being told to exhaust their stock of non-BS IV vehicles in October 2016, some two wheeler manufacturers were still producing those vehicles.
The BS IV emission standards is expected to reduce harmful vehicular emissions by almost 80% as compared to the older BS III standards, and is expected to help improve the air quality in the country.
Though most manufacturers said that they had either already exhausted their stock or that it would be exhausted by the first week of March, representatives from Hero and Honda expressed their doubts.
The EPCA has asked the companies to submit detailed inventories on how many vehicles were compliant and how many weren’t, and details about when they were manufactured, to be submitted in the third week of March.
Gas as an alternative to furnace oil
The EPCA has proposed a ban on furnace oil and pet coke, and on Monday were informed by various stakeholders that the gas supply network would be able to match the demand, in the event of a ban on furnace oil.
These fuels are considered highly polluting. “Gas is a better alternative than furnace oil any day,” said Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment and a member of EPCA, while adding that India has become the dumping ground for pet coke from countries like USA, China and Saudi Arabia.
“Phase-1 can probably be rolled out as soon as key areas in the NCR are covered,” said Narain after representatives from various gas companies including GAIL, GIL, IGL, Adani Gas, Haryana Gas, etc reassured the EPCA that most key areas in the NCR were covered by their network.
It was also proposed that VAT on gas may be taken away so that gas can be cheaper, as people still use polluting fuels over gas because it is expensive. The cost of generating power using furnace oil is around Rs 4-5 per unit, while it would cost Rs 7-8 if gas is used.
Action plan to combat bad air quality in Delhi-NCR
During the meeting, after being informed by the Central Pollution Control Board officials that air quality improved to poor in recent times, the EPCA also proposed lifting the measures that were implemented when air quality was “severe” on January 20, under the graded action plan.
Some of the key pollution issues that were discussed included the problem of open waste burning and dust from Anand Vihar Bus depot. Officials agreed that the air pollution at Anand Vihar cannot be controlled unless the bus depot is paved, and flying dust is controlled.
Narain said that she will be presenting field inspection reports from Ghazipur landfill during a meeting with the LG on Tuesday.