On 1st April, 2017, the Minister of State (I/C) for Natural Gas and Petroleum, Dharmendra Pradhan, formally launched the low-emission and eco-friendly BS-IV grade fuel all over the country from Bhubaneswar by symbolically commencing its sale.
The event coincided with Utkal Divas celebration in Odisha and was telecast live to 12 different locations –Vijayawada, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Durgapur, Bhopal, Imphal, Madurai, Ranchi, Patna, Guwahati, Shillong and Nagpur.
The petroleum minister specified that the launch displays a new age of clean carriage fuels and is aimed at substantially reducing pollution levels everywhere.
He complimented the OMCs for working in unison to set up refining infrastructure and logistics in record time for the launch of BS-IV grade fuels as per schedule. The OMCs are incurring an expenditure of Rs.90, 000 crore on phase-wise modification of fuel value in the country.
The next step is to usher in BS-VI fuels by April 1, 2020, to be on par with universal standards, he said.
India’s track to green fuels
- The growing usage of oil is straight linked to atmospheric pollution and health problems due to the deteriorating effect on air quality in urban areas worldwide. Following is India’s journey with relation to air-pollution control.
- India’s fuel quality standards have been slowly tightened since the mid- 90s. The fuel upgradation programme took off with notification of vehicular emission norms for new vehicles in 1991.
- The emission norms were revised in 1996. Low-lead petrol was introduced in 1994 in the 4 metros –Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
- On February 1, 2000, unleaded petrol was mandated countrywide.
- BS 2000 (Euro-I equivalent, Bharat Stage-I) vehicle emission norms were presented for new automobiles from April 2000.
- Bharat Stage II (Euro-II equivalent) emission norms for new cars were introduced in Delhi from the 2000 and extended to the other three metro cities in 2001.
- The emission norms for LPG and CNG vehicles were informed in 2000 and 2001, correspondingly. BS-III was implemented in phases during 2005-2010.
- The current BS-IV fuel with 50ppm (parts per million) sulphur was introduced in 2010 and it was to cover the entire country by April 1, 2017.
- In 2016, the India government decided to meet international best practices by leapfrogging directly from BS-IV to BS-VI norms by skipping BS-V altogether by April 1, 2020.
As part of its focus on clean energy, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is actively promoting city gas distribution networks and connecting major cities with ‘green highways’, which will have vehicles running on CNG and LNG with adequate re-fuelling stations.
- 27.5 lakh vehicles in the country are helping from availability of CNG.
- So far, 80 cities/districts of 19 states/UTs have been covered for development of PNG/CNG network.