The Union Government on February 21, 2018 informed the Supreme Court that it has advanced the availability of the BS-VI grade fuel by two years. Now, the BS-VI grade fuel will be available Delhi-NCR from April 1, 2018.
Earlier, the BS-VI grade fuel was expected to be available from April 1, 2020.
The information was given the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to a Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Madan B.Lokur.
Originally, BS-VI fuel was to hit the market in 2020 but now it will be available from 2018 and in the first instance, Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) will start getting it from April 1, 2018.
What led to the advance availability of the BS-VI grade fuel?
The Ministry gave this information in an affidavit as it was asked to file by the apex court on the last hearing of the matter on February 5, 2018.
The court had asked the Ministry to declare its position on the introduction of BS-VI fuel after amicus curiae Aparajita Singh drew the attention of the court to a November 15, 2017 press release of the Press Information Bureau saying that BS-VI grade auto fuels will be introduced in NCT Delhi from April 1, 2018.
The press release also said that even Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies have been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the NCR from April 1, 2019.
After covering NCR, the government intends to make BS-VI grade fuel in the rest of the country.
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Why BS-VI grade fuel?
The Union Government decided to switch over to BS-VI grade fuel directly from BS-IV skipping BS-V, after Environment Pollution Control Authority in its April 2017 report told the apex court that only BS-VI emission standards complaint vehicles should be allowed to be sold from April 1, 2020.
India had switched over to BS-IV grade fuel from April 1, 2017 following the directions of the court banning BS-III grade fuel.