Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said the roll-out of BS-VI fuel in Delhi from April 2018, instead of April 2020 was taken after taking stock of the alarming pollution situation in Delhi in winters.
BS-VI is as clean as CNG or even cleaner than CNG in some respects Pradhan said here at the launch of BS-VI compliant automotive fuels in Delhi.
BS-VI fuel will bring down sulphur by 5 times from the current BS-IV levels. This is an 80 percent reduction which makes it extremely clean. It will improve emissions from the existing fleet, even from the older vehicles on road, a ministry statement said.
"We plan to extend the availability of these fuels across the country by 1st April 2020," Mr Pradhan added.
"We believe that early migration to BS-VI fuels in the National Capital of Delhi will help in saving thousands of precious lives by bringing down vehicular pollution significantly," Mr Pradhan said.
However, to take full advantage of the availability of such superior fuels, the vehicle technology has to move to BS-VI. Introduction of BS VI fuel will only give partial benefits if BS VI compliant vehicles are not put on the road, he said.
"I am told that our auto-companies are already making BS VI cars in India and exporting them to developed countries. I am sure they can also do so for our own country."
Pradhan appealed to all automobile manufacturers to start selling BS VI vehicles, wherever BS VI fuel is available.
The Petroleum Minister his Ministry was trying to contribute towards solving the problem of pollution due to agricultural stubble burning and other causes by implementing 2G Ethanol plants.
"Increasing share of gas in primary energy basket from 6 percent to 15 percent, initiating 9th Gas Development Bidding Round and unbundling of gas sector to promote gas-based economy were other measures for cleaner fuel," the Minister said.
According to a Centre for Science & Environment study, air pollution takes 10,000-30,000 lives in Delhi every year.
With the introduction of BSVI, India joins the small list of Asia - Pacific nations -Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and China.