BS-VI grade fuel to be available from April 1, SC told

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The Central government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it has advanced by two years the availability of the BS-VI grade fuel and it will be available in the national capital from April 1.

Earlier, the government had said it would be available here from April 1, 2020.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry on Wednesday told a bench, headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur, that 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 will start getting it from April 1.

The Ministry said this in an affidavit that it was asked to file on the last hearing of the matter on February 5.

The court had asked the Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary to spell 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 by the Press Information Bureau which said that BS-VI grade auto fuels will be introduced in NCT Delhi from April 1, 2018.

The press note said that Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of National Capital Region from April 1, 2019.

After covering NCR, the government intends to make BS-VI grade fuel in the rest of the country.

The government decided to switch over to BS-VI grade fuel directly from BS-IV skipping BS-V.

It had embarked on making available BS-VI grade fuel as Environment Pollution Control Authority in its April 2017 report had told the top court that only BS-VI emission standards complaint vehicles should be allowed to be sold from April 1, 2020.

Following the directions of the top court banning BS-III grade fuel, the country had switched over to BS-IV from April 1, 2017 – a move that was strongly resisted by the automobile manufacturers before they fell in line.

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