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The supply of Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) auto fuels (petrol and diesel) to retail outlets in Delhi will begin on 1 April, the central government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday. BS-VI emissions norms are slated to come into force across the country from 1 April 2020.
“After taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas and as per the decision taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in consultation with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), it is respectfully submitted that BS-VI auto fuels will be supplied in all retail outlets of Delhi from 1 April, 2018,” the centre said in an affidavit.
The OMCs are Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd.
In April 2017, automobile manufacturers had informed the Supreme Court of technological difficulties in starting the process of converting vehicles to meet BS-VI emissions standards from 2019 in order to meet the April 2020 deadline.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta in 1985. A series of orders have been passed by the court over the years to try and curb growing pollution in the national capital region centred on Delhi.
Last year, the court banned the sale and registration of vehicles that are not compliant with Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) norms after 31 March 2017. In doing so, a bench headed by Madan B. Lokur put public health over potential commercial losses to companies, creating a precedent of sorts.
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