The plan was to be implemented in 2020, but has been moved ahead on account of the high pollution levels in the region.

The Petroleum Ministry, in consultation with oil marketing companies (OMCs), has taken the decision to advance the retailing of BS-VI auto-grade fuels to April 1, 2018, in Delhi. In its bid to reiterate the commitment made at COP 21 in Paris two years ago, the government of India promised to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency. OMCs have been told to look at making BS-VI auto grade fuel available across NCR by April 1, 2019

Owing to rising pollution in Delhi, the government decided to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI grade by Apri1 2020, skipping BS-V altogether.

Vehicle manufacturers and the automotive component industry are now actively working together to meet the BS-VI challenge.  "Advancing availability of BS VI fuel to April 2018 doesn't mean the timeline for roll out BS-VI compliant vehicles is being advanced. The whole auto industry is working with a deadline of April 1, 2020 for BSVI-compliant vehicles and I do not think that any manufacturer can prepone that by two years. The move to bring forward deadline for availability of BS-VI fuel gives the auto industry confidence that such fuel will be available by 2020 because we were concerned about the availability of fuel," Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra said.

The move, says SIAM, is a step in the right direction. Abhay Firodia, president, SIAM, stated, “Use of BS VI fuel with lower sulphur content may also improve the particulate emissions from the existing fleet of vehicles which are presently plying in the national capital to some extent. In addition, if the government also effectively enforces the order to remove old BS II and earlier vintage vehicles from plying in the national capital, it would greatly reduce the contribution of vehicular pollution in the region.”

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