Bharat Stage Norms

What are Bharat Stage Emission Standards?

  • Bharat Stage emission standards, introduced in 2000, are emission standards that have been set up by the Central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The different norms are brought into force in accordance with the timeline and standards set up by the Central Pollution Control Board which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change.
What is the mechanism that is followed under BS?
BS is based on Euro norms.
  • Euro norms define the maximum limit of pollutant that a vehicle can emit. (CO2, nitrogen oxide, sulfur and suspended particulate matter)
  • If vehicle emits more than this limit, it cannot be sold in Europe.
  • In India, we follow Euro norms under the label “Bharat stage” norms. We are gradually implementing them in more and more cities
What is the benefit of these norms?
Bharat stage emission standard regulates the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
How are they adopted/ their timelines?
India has been following European emission norms, though with a time lag of five years, with BS-IV norms currently applicable in 33 cities where the required grade of fuel is available while the rest of the country follows BS-III standards.
As per the original timeline in the Auto Fuel Policy, BS-IV is to be adopted across the country by 2017, BS V by 2020 and BS-VI by 2024.
Current status:
  • BS-III (equivalent to Euro-III) across the country
  • BS-IV in major cities
Is the fuel available to all type of vehicles across country?
No, there is a lack of BS standard fuel availability. At present, while passenger vehicle manufacturers have been selling BS-IV variants even beyond the 33 cities where that fuel is available, all commercial vehicles (heavy trucks and buses) comply with BS-III norms. These vehicles travel inter-state and therefore have to refuel at BS-III stations. Using BS-III fuel in BS-IV vehicles lowers efficacy of the engine. Its performance too is affected. The objective of addressing pollution issue by upgrading to higher emissions norms too remain defeated without uniform fuel availability across the country.
Why BS thing in news now?
  • Government is aiming to implement introduction of the cleaner Bharat Stage- VI fuel in the country by 2020. It intends to skip BS-V.
  • The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has set a deadline of 2017 by which time all the vehicles in the country must be BS-IV-compliant and 2020 for the rollout of BS-VI fuel.
Why Government skipping BS V?
  • Hydrocarbon usage in the country is growing rapidly and it is imperative that technology moves apace to ensure the damage to the environment is limited.
What are the challenges?
  • The government’s decision to leapfrog the Bharat Stage (BS)-V Emission Standards and implement the BS-VI norms by April 2020, four years ahead of the earlier schedule, will make diesel vehicles costlier by Rs.70,000 to Rs.1,50,000
  • Technology holds the key to achieving the government’s goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and oil imports by 10 per cent and introducing BS-VI-compliant fuel across the country.
  • Availability of technology would not be an issue, the key challenge for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) would be adapting the available solutions to Indian market conditions in a short time-frame, in a cost-effective manner
SC orders ban of all BS-III vehicles from 1st April 2017:
The Supreme Court has banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from April 1, 2017, when environmentally friendly BS-IV emission norms will come into force across the country.
  • The SC bench held that health of the citizen is more important than the commercial interests of the automobile industry.
  • All the vehicle registering authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 are prohibited from registering such vehicles on and from April 1, 2017 that do not meet BS-IV emission standards.
  • Vehicles that have already been sold on or before March 31, 2017 will be not included in this ban. From 1 April 2017, BS-IV fuel emission standards will kick in and all new vehicles have to comply it. 


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