After the hearing today, Supreme Court of India has upheld the diesel vehicle ban in Delhi and NCR. This means, for the next three months, people will not be able to buy or register diesel vehicles which have 2000 cc or above engine.
The worst affected car manufacturer by this ruling is Mahindra in the mass market while Mercedes Benz in the luxury segment. Almost the entire line-up of vehicles of both these manufacturers has been banned in Delhi for the next three months.
Apart from this, Supreme Court also upheld the other rulings which charges pollution cess from heavy commercial vehicles which are entering into Delhi. Supreme Court has also asked all government officials in Delhi to replace their diesel cars which are older than 5 years.
The reason for these new rulings is the rise in pollution in Delhi. Research has revealed that one of the major reason behind rise in pollution is the BSIV fuel. Govt of India is aiming at replacing the BSIV fuel with BSVI, which will emt up to 80% less pollutants as compared to the BSIV fuel.
Govt of India plans to directly introduce Bharat Stage VI norms for all vehicles by 2020. Earlier it was planned that the shift from BS IV to BS V would be completed by 2019-20 while BS VI norms would be introduced in 2021-22. Reasons to fast forward these norms is in view of rising pollution specially in cities such as Delhi and pressure on the Government of India to speed up and bring in better and more environmentally compliant fuels.
An inter-ministerial meeting is being conducted to look into this matter which will assess views from various departments, representatives from petroleum and heavy industries prior to arriving at a decision and fixing timeline for adoption of BSVI norms.
BS norms in India are based on the same Euro emission grading system which was introduced across Europe. The focus now shifts to India where the Supreme Court has already cracked down on larger diesel powered cars.
However, while the Indian auto sector welcomes in more stringent environmentally friendly fuel norms, the timeline seems rather unreasonable. President of SIAM, Vinod Dasari has said that BS V norms itself would considerably reduce pollution levels by 80% where heavy commercial vehicles are concerned and by 90% in the case of passenger cars where PM 2.5 is concerned. NOx will also be reduced by 60% in the case of Heavy Commercial Vehicles and by 64% in the case of passenger cars. This being the case, Oil Manufacturing Companies will have to invest at least INR 60,000 crores for upgradation of fuels to BS VI norms.