Air Pollution

SC asks Centre to consider rolling out BS-VI fuel in 13 cities by April 2019


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: BS emission norms, differential pricing

Mains level: Rising air pollution and measures to curb it

Possibilty of early rollout of BS-VI norms

  1. The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to consider if it was possible to roll out BS-VI fuel in thirteen metro cities by April 2019
  2. SC also directed the Centre to look into the question of differential pricing for diesel to disincentivize the use of the fuel

SC verdict on BS norms application

  1. The apex court had, in March last year, banned the sale and registration of vehicles, which were not BS-IV compliant, in India from April 1, 2017, when the new emission norms came into force

Differential pricing for diesel

  1. The Centre said that increasing the price of the fuel would impact the movement of heavy vehicles which in turn would lead to rise in the price of vegetables and other essential items
  2. SC said that differential pricing can be introduced in a way which ensures that price of diesel does not act as a stimulus for the purchase of commercial and passenger vehicles and also does not impact the running of heavy vehicles


BS emission norms

  1. Bharat stage emission standards (BSES) are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engines and Spark-ignition engines equipment, including motor vehicles
  2. The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change
  3. The standards, based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000
  4. Bharat Stage IV emission norms have been in place since April 2010 and it has been enforced for entire country since April 2017
  5. In 2016, the Indian government announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020
  6. While the norms help in bringing down pollution levels, it invariably results in increased vehicle cost due to the improved technology & higher fuel prices

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