Green activists hail BS-VI rollout plan

Environmentalist Sunita Narain  

Environmentalists welcomed the Centre’s decision on Wednesday to advance the rollout of cleaner fuel, compliant to Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) norms, in Delhi by two years, but added that a regional approach was needed to make it more effective.

The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas announced that BS-VI fuel norms would be implemented in Delhi by April 1, 2018, instead of the scheduled deadline of April 2020. For the rest of the country, the earlier deadline would remain.

Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and a member of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, said: “This is the kind of proactive and responsive leadership we need to see in our government. This is also the kind of drastic measure that is required given the scale of the crisis.”

In a statement, the CSE said that it was ironic that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry had taken the lead instead of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, which is the nodal ministry for environment regulations.

While the complete gains of the BS-VI norms would only be seen when vehicles also moved from BS-IV to the new norms, the decision to advance the cleaner fuel standards should not be underestimated, said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE’s executive director and the head of its anti-air pollution campaign. She added that the substantially cleaner fuel would give some emission benefits, but also lead to more advanced emissions control systems being fitted to BS-VI vehicles when they are rolled out.

For others, the step, though welcome, did not cover a large enough area. With the National Capital Region facing a smog crisis due to a combination of crop burning in Punjab and Haryana and high background pollution in Delhi last week, the need for region-wide action was once again highlighted.

“We hope the government enacts a more comprehensive and systematic plan. It should be expanded to other mega cities and across Northern India so there can be a more effective reduction of emissions,” said Sunil Dahiya, a campaigner with Greenpeace.

Green activists hail BS-VI rollout plan

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 3:04:39 PM |

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