We all love vehicles, but we hate pollution as much the same. We live a life of contradictions refusing to make changes that would actually benefit us in the long run. In past couple of years, our country has grown tremendously in science and technology. Hold on, did I mention pollution?? Well, sadly that’s where we advanced the most!! While India bragged about progress in different spheres, we failed to realise or rather say agree to the rising pollution levels in the country, especially in Tier-I cities resulting in huge damage to the ecosystem. Now this was the time- Precisely in the year 1999, when implementing Emission norms were thought of by the Government of India. I would like to emphasize on the word Stringent Emission Norms since these norms were later strictly followed by automobile companies on the manufacturing of every single vehicle produced and sold in the country.
Bharat Stage Emission Norms or otherwise simply stated as BS norms were introduced by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment and Forests; and implemented by an order from The Supreme Court of India in the year 2000. As per the order, all vehicles had to mandatorily comply with the India 2000 emission norms which were in line with Euro-I introduced based on the European Regulation Standards. Thereafter, it progressed along with each progress of Euro norms- BS-II in 2005 based on Euro-II and BS-III in 2010 based on Euro-III and now BS-IV in 2017 based on Euro-IV. News is being heard that BS-V will be skipped and directly leaped onto BS-VI in 2020. Now, the sad part is that the implementation of these norms was never welcomed by a major population owing to the rise in vehicle prices. As most automobile companies have been wondering what to do with the unsold BS-III stock piled up, let us take a look at why BS-IV implementation seemed inevitable for the Supreme Court.
Hon Supreme Court of India declared that all cars with BS-III engines to be banned from sale/registration from April 1,2017 onwards. In spite of the plea by the auto companies asking for time to finish selling off their existing stocks, the Apex court put the health of the citizens as top priority and refused to make any changes to the ban.
BS-III emitted more pollutants through carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and many other toxic gases into the atmosphere leading to severe respiratory problems and other diseases to the public. The introduction of BS-IV norms and the ban of BS-III seemed inevitable at such a point due to the increased number of vehicles on the roads that spewed out poisonous fumes clouding the air unlike before. The transition from BS-III to BS-IV engines demanded a transition in the quality of fuel as well. The Indian Government spent a good amount of money to produce cleaner fuel that suits these new engines.
The Automobile Companies were given enough time to prepare themselves for the major transition and very few of them kept in pace with it. Of course, the procedure was not that easy for these companies as it required the upgrade in technology too for which the Research and Development had to work for long hours. Yet few manufacturers attained the goal, while the ones who delayed hoping for a relaxation in the norms now claim losses worth crores owing to the pile up of BS-III vehicle stocks at their warehouses.
The Euro-IV emission norms were implemented after many years by the European countries but in India, the similar BS-IV was introduced in the year 2010. Since then, many automobile manufacturers have been producing vehicles with BS-IV standards. Sadly, the implementation of these norms across the country was delayed by the regulatory due to the non-availability of BS-IV fuel. This kept the BS-III vehicles rolling despite the risks of toxic emission where this nation could have actually witnessed production of machines at par with world standards and norms. The emissions for BS-IV engines over BS-III are heard to be almost 50% less on passenger cars, while on trucks they drop by as much as 80%. If these figures are really true, wouldn’t it be amazing?
The Indian Government has rolled up the sleeves for once and let us appreciate the move. What do we really need? When we raise our voice against the high prices for the new vehicles, aren’t we giving up on our health and that of future generation as a whole? There is a chance to have a cleaner India, which we can at least buy now with some extra money which we shell for new vehicles. Or we can still keep complaining about those little things which could put at greater risk, the life of our next generation. The choice is ours, let our conscience decide.
What will be the fate of the existing BS-III vehicles? Their days are numbered, for the Centre Pollution Control Board isn’t planning to stop with this one move. Initiatives are being taken to curb the pollution levels in our country and don’t be surprised if these vehicles get trashed anytime soon. It is heard that India is one among the countries to have impeccably followed the technical regulations in the history of Automobile industry.
India will soon be a cleaner, safer and greener nation. All it needs is civilized citizens to cooperate and accept the positive changes happening here.