The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gases announced that the introduction of BS-VI grade auto fuels in the national capital would be brought forward to April 1, 2018, today. The government has also asked oil marketing firms to examine the possibility of introducing the more refined fuel in the National Capital Region, which includes Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Muzaffarnagar, by April 1, 2019. The decision has been taken considering the increased level of air pollution in the national capital and regions surrounding it.
This will be the second major reform in terms of curbing pollution since the successful implementation of BS-IV emission norms earlier this year. Earlier, the government had announced its intention to skip BS-V regulations and move directly to BS-VI norms by the year 2020. Oil companies have already started making huge investments in fuel purgation projects to produce BS-VI fuels in the country. With the latest announcement, it seems like oil manufacturers will have to accelerate their efforts to meet the new deadline.
The prevailing smog in the capital its and surrounding regions has become a matter of grave concern as it has caused severe respiratory illnesses among the residents of the city. The introduction of cleaner fuels, widespread use of electric vehicles and seizing overage vehicles should help curb pollution as vehicular emissions play a major factor in generating such conditions.
The government has already announced its intention to move to electric mobility by 2030. However, with pollution levels worsening day by day, we think the move to electric vehicles will be sooner than expected. To achieve this, the government will have to ramp up its efforts to set up the required infrastructure for sustaining electric vehicles and a clean future.