BS VI fuel to be available at Delhi petrol pumps from tomorrow
The BS VI fuel supplies in Delhi have been advanced from the 1 April 2020 target rollout for the entire country to tackle air pollution
New Delhi: The rollout of a cleaner fuel in Delhi on Sunday is expected to bring down vehicular pollution in the city infamous for its air quality levels.
There will be benefits to the extent of reduction of 10-20% in particulate matter (PM) after the introduction of Bharat Stage VI fuel, or BS VI fuel, said B.V. Rama Gopal, director (refineries) at Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, at a press conference on Saturday.
Going forward, the plan is to introduce the BS VI fuel across the national capital region and metro cities by 1 April 2019.
The fuel is being introduced in Delhi two years earlier than planned. In January 2016, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance decided to move the country up to BS VI from the current BS IV standards by 2020, skipping an intermediate level. The shift from BS IV to BS VI is estimated to cost refiners Rs28,000 crore.
According to a January 2018 survey by Greenpeace Environment Trust that covered 630 million Indians, 550 million live in areas where particulate matter exceeds the national standard, and many live in areas where air pollution levels are more than twice the stipulated standard.
Air quality is measured based on the number of small particles in every cubic metre of air capable of entering the bloodstream through the lungs.
“The fuel shall be made available from 187 petrol pumps of Indian Oil within Delhi. For the next milestone on 1 April 2019 (NCR and metro cities), 1,013 Indian Oil retail outlets shall be covered,” India’s largest refiner said in a statement.
Such a shift will also help India achieve its climate change commitments. India is now the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, and is among countries most vulnerable to climate change. India plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030, as part of its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted by 195 countries in Paris in 2015.
The vexed issue of tackling pollution had also become a political flashpoint between the union and the Delhi governments. Various solutions to tackle the problem were implemented, such as the odd-even scheme, but the city’s air quality still remains a major concern.
One of the crucial features of BS VI fuel is its low sulphur content—10 parts per million (ppm) as compared to 50 ppm in the earlier fuel grade. Sulphur in fuel contributes to higher fine particulate matter emissions and corrodes an automobile’s engine.
Introduction of BS VI fuel will also reduce the level of certain harmful hydrocarbons produced due to incomplete combustion of fuel.
While this clean fuel will be supplied by Indian Oil’s Mathura and Panipat refineries, other state-owned oil marketing companies—Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) will use their Bhatinda and Bina refineries, respectively, to supply the same.
The rollout road map will be as follows: Alwar, Bharatpur, Karauli amd Dhaulpur will get BS VI fuel by 1 January 2019. This will be followed by supplies to Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Baghpat, Hapur, Buland Shahar and Shamli by 1 April 2019. By 1 October 2019, the BS VI fuel will reach Faridabad, Gurugram, Mahendranagar, Rewari, Jhajjar, Palwal and Mewat.
As of now, the increased cost of production will not be passed on to the consumers. According to Indian Oil’s Gopal, the refiner is working on a mechanism to recover the cost at a later date.
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