The Supreme Court of India prohibited registration of vehicles meeting BS-III standards on and from April 1. The Supreme Court on 29th March 2017 banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission norm-compliant vehicles, saying the health of millions was more important than commercial interests. In a major reversal of fortune for the automobile manufacturers, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta decided to take the drastic step, saying that BS – III Vehicle could only worsen the already deteriorating air quality in the country and such a step was needed to handle the threat of pollution.
Highlights of the Ban of BS – III:
- The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) after appealing for a ban on BS-III vehicles said that the automobile companies had the latest technology for quite some time and they should have reduced the production of BS-III vehicles.
- The court dismissed the appeal of automakers to allow them to get rid of existing stocks of 8.2 lakh BS-III vehicles. The companies have a huge stock of 8,24,275 BS-III vehicles.
- The decision could deal a Rs 12,000-crore blow to auto manufacturers as about 820,000 vehicles, most of them two-wheelers, are lying unsold.
- India will switch to the more efficient and extreme BS-IV norms, already in place in some parts of the country, including Delhi, from April 1.
- The biggest difference between the two is the emission of carbon particulate matter, a major air pollutant.
- BS-III vehicles emit about 2.30 gm of carbon monoxide per kg of fuel. Now the emission rate drops to 1 gm per kg in BS-IV vehicles.
- Transition to BS-IV could lead to a considerable drop in particulate matter emissions.
The norms have to be followed by auto makers as well as fuel companies. The solicitor general informed the court that BS-IV fuel would be available across India from April 1.