New Delhi: The roll out of a cleaner Bharat Stage-VI fuel, or BS-VI fuel, in Haryana starting Tuesday is expected to bring down vehicular pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR), infamous for its air quality levels.
Starting tomorrow, 2,200 retail outlets of state run oil marketing companies (OMC)--Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL)-- will supply BS-VI grade fuels in Haryana’s seven districts of Faridabad, Gurugram, Mahendraghar, Rewari, Jhajjar, Palwal and Mewat, thereby covering the entire NCR.
Introduction of BS-VI fuel will also help reduce the level of certain harmful hydrocarbons produced due to incomplete combustion of fuel. 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.
In January 2016, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance decided to move the country up to BS VI from the BS IV standards by 2020, skipping an intermediate level. The shift from BS-IV to BS-VI is estimated to cost refiners ₹28,000 crore and may help in the reduction of around 10-20% in particulate matter (PM).
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 vexed issue of tackling pollution has also become a political flashpoint, with various solutions to tackle the problem such as the odd-even scheme being implemented, but the city’s air quality still remains a major concern.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government also plans to enforce the odd-even scheme for the third time during 4-15 November, wherein cars with odd and even number plates will ply on alternate days. This is being attempted to tackle rising pollution levels during winters. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal recently announced a seven-point agenda as a precautionary measure to tackle air pollution, which peaks in November due to crop burning in neighbouring states. Along with the odd-even scheme, the government is also procuring face masks, which will be distributed free.
“Further, w.e.f. (with effect from) 01/04/2019 part of NCR (National Capital Region) i.e. 4 districts of Rajasthan (Alwar, Bharatpur, Karauli & Dhaulpur) along with 8 districts of Uttar Pradesh (Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Baghpat, Hapur, Bulandshar & Shamli) and Agra City implemented BS VI fuel rollout," IOC said in a statement on late Monday evening.
“Now with the commencement of BS VI fuels in the remaining 7 districts from 1/10/2019, the entire NCR region is being served with BS VI fuels, ahead of schedule," the statement added.
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.
“Also the Oil Industry is well on its way to launch of BS-VI MS (motor spirit) & HSD (high speed diesel) on pan India in line with schedule Auto Fuel Vision and Policy of GOI (Government of India) dated May, 2011 by 01/03/2020," the statement said.