India to leapfrog BS V, implement BS VI emission norms by April 2020

by Doug Revolta 06 Jan 2016

The government will pass over the BS-V emission standards and directly implement BS-VI across the country from April 1, 2020, according to Nitin Gadkari, minister of Road Transport and Highways.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Gadkari and attended by Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of Heavy Industries Anant Geete and Environment minister Prakash Javadekar. Gadkari confirmed the same in a tweet posted today: "Me & my colleagues @PrakashJavdekar, Anant Geete, @dpradhanbjp hve taken a unanimous decision to leap-frog to BS VI directly from 01/04/2020.”

In October 2015, it was announced that BS-V norms would be applied from 2019, followed by BS-VI in 2023, but it now appears the government will go straight to the stricter emission standards in a bid to cut down on pollution caused by vehicles.

However, in October, an official from apex industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers suggested the industry was not ready to go straight to BS-VI.

“While BS-V requires vehicles in India to be fitted with a diesel particulate filter, BS-VI involves the optimisation of selective catalytic reduction technology. Leapfrogging to BS-VI wouldn’t give automakers enough time to validate these technologies, which could have led to major reliability issues in vehicles,” the official had said.

More than 50 cities in India currently have BS-IV norms, with the rest still following BS-III standards. While the move to go to BS VI is a step in the right direction, are the state-owned oil marketing companies ready for it?

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