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Ban on sale, registration of BS-III vehicles
Apr 01, 2017

In news:

The Supreme Court ordered a freeze on the registration and sale of BS-III fuel compliant vehicles.

What court said?

  • The SC said that health of the citizen is more important than the commercial interests of the automobile industry.
  • No registration and sale of BS-III fuel compliant vehicles will be allowed from April 1.
  • On April 1, the next level and environmentally friendly BS-IV fuel emission standards are scheduled to kick in, and all new vehicles have to be BS-IV compliant.
  • The seminal issue is whether the sale and registration and therefore, the commercial interests of manufacturers and dealers of such vehicles that do not meet the Bharat Stage-IV emission standards as on April 1, 2017, takes primacy over the health hazard due to increased air pollution of millions of our countrymen and women. The answer is quite obvious.
  • The court had pointed out that the new fuel was “cleaner” and the oil refineries had spent about Indian_Rupee_symbol.png (10×12)30,000 crore since 2010 to produce it.

View of Industry:

  • Vehicle manufacturers argued that they were entitled to make BS-III vehicles till March 31. So, the sale and registration of these vehicles should not be prohibited after April 1 with the introduction of BS-IV norms. 
  • They should be given a reasonable time to dispose of their stock.
  • The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had submitted data on the manufacturing and sale of BS-III vehicles on a monthly basis from January 2016 and told the court that the companies were holding stock of 8.24 lakh vehicles.

What is BS standard:

The BS—or Bharat Stage—emission standards are norms instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. India has been following the European (Euro) emission norms, though with a time lag of five years. BS-IV norms are currently applicable in 33 cities in which the required grade of fuel is available; the rest of India still conforms to BS-III standards.

BS-III-vehicles

Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/photo/47508135.cms

Why these are important:

  • Upgrading to stricter fuel standards helps tackle air pollution. Global automakers are betting big on India as vehicle penetration is still low here, when compared to developed countries. At the same time, cities such as Delhi are already being listed among those with the poorest air quality in the world. The national capital’s recent odd-even car experiment and judicial activism against the registration of big diesel cars shows that governments can no longer afford to relax on this front.
  • With other developing countries such as China having already upgraded to the equivalent of Euro V emission norms a while ago, India has been lagging behind. While BS IV-compliant fuel currently in use has 50 parts per million (ppm) 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.
  • The experience of countries such as China and Malaysia (which is currently grappling with haze) shows that poor air quality can be bad for business. Therefore, leapfrogging to BS VI can put India ahead in the race for investments too.


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