A communique from the ministry today said, "taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas," it has been decided to fast-forward the date of BS-VI grade auto fuel launch.
The oil marketing companies, who have already been taken on board, have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of National Capital Region by April 2019. To make the change, two-thirds of the state-owned refineries will need upgradation, which, the government says, is expected to cost Rs 60,000 crore.
Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari had tweeted last year that India will go from BS-VI directly from the current BS-IV. The decision had been hailed in view of the rising levels of pollution in Delhi, which, this year, has been called a public health emergency by health professionals after it reached record levels.
Introduced in 2000, the Bharat Stage emission norms regulate the output of air pollutants from vehicle engines, which auto manufacturers have to follow. The engines also need clean fuel, which the oil manufacturers have to provide.