The Central government recently notified that India will leapfrog from the Bharat Stage (BS) IV emission norms that are now in force, to the BS VI norms from 1st April 2020.
Introduced in the year 2000, the Bharat norms are emission control standards put in place by the government to keep a check on air pollution.
Based on the European regulations (Euro norms), these standards set specifications/limits for the release of air pollutants from equipment using internal combustion engines, including vehicles.
Typically, the higher the stage, the more stringent the norms become.
While BS IV-compliant fuel currently in use has 50 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur, BS VI stipulates a low 10 ppm. Besides, under BS VI, particulate matter emission for diesel cars and nitrogen oxide levels are expected to be substantially lower than in BS IV.
According to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), In case of cars, the particulate matter (PM) norm will reduce by 82% and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 68%; PM and NOx emissions from two-wheelers will reduce by 89% and 76%, respectively; and PM and NOx emissions from trucks and buses will drop by 50% and 89%, respectively.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, through a notification dated September 16, has given the Union Petroleum Ministry four years to make BS-VI fuels available to auto companies.
The government had earlier planned to implement BS-V norms from 2020 and BS-VI norms from 2022.