India is not only directly moving from BSIV to BSVI, it is also not allowing vehicle manufacturers extra time to sell the stock of unsold BSIV vehicles
THE PACE of India’s emissions standard roadmap for cleaner vehicles and fuels has quickened. The country has already drawn accolade for skipping the stage V emissions standards to leapfrog from Bharat Stage IV (BSVI) to Bharat Stage VI (BSVI) in 2020— advancing by five years from the original proposal. But two new developments this year make this trajectory even more unique. One, BSVI fuel has been introduced in Delhi in advance to battle its deadly smog, and, two, the automobile industry has not been allowed extra time to phase-in or to sell unsold older BSVI vehicles after BSVI kicks in on April 1, 2020. India, a rapidly motorising economy, facing a big technology lag, has finally chosen disruptive strategies.
Though this change was resisted by the auto industry, public health interest has prevailed. The spirit and principle behind the decisions is clear from the Supreme Court ruling of October 24: “Even a day’s delay in enforcing BSVI norms is going to harm the health of the people that cannot be compensated in the marginal extra profits that the manufacturers might make.” The ruling is categorical: “If there is a conflict between health and wealth, obviously, health will have to be given precedence… The larger public interest has to outweigh the much smaller pecuniary interest of the industry.” These developments, however, have aroused a certain curiosity about the benefits of these early moves.
Fuelling change with clean fuels
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November 16, 2018