Only Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) vehicles shall be sold across the country from April 1, 2020, the Supreme Court said today. No BS-IV or BS-VI non-compliant vehicles can be sold after this deadline. The Bharat stage emission standards (BSES) are instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.
In 2016, the centre had announced that the country would skip BS-V norms and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.
Emphasising the urgent need to switch to a cleaner fuel, the top court also rejected the centre's request for a three-month extension of the deadline so that car makers can sell their non-BS-VI vehicles.
At a previous hearing, advocate Aparajita Singh, who is advising the top court in the air pollution matter, had opposed the government's move to extend the deadline till June 30, 2020 to enable vehicle manufacturers to sell their BS-VI non-compliant four-wheelers.
The automobile manufacturers had justified the grace period saying India was attempting to jump from BS-IV emission norms to BS-VI in a short span of time.
BS-VI grade petrol and diesel, billed as "ultra-clean" fuel, became available in Delhi from April this year. The fuel helps even current generation vehicles cut particulate emissions by 10 to 20 per cent.
The move to phase out BS-IV and promote use of clean fuel is aimed at lowering the alarming levels of air pollution in the national capital, among the world's most-polluted megacities.
Delhi is the first city in the country to leapfrog from BS-IV grade petrol and diesel to BS-VI. Cities in the national capital region like Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad as well as 13 major cities including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune will switch over to cleaner BS-VI grade fuel from January 1 next year. Rest of the country will follow from April 2020.