Delhi becomes first city running on BS-VI fuel

If you live in Delhi, you may have felt your car engine running a tad more smoothly of late. The reason is that, unknown to motorists, Delhi has already switched to Bharat Stage-VI fuels, ahead of the scheduled April 1 launch for the capital.

State-run fuel retailers have been pushing cleaner petrol and diesel — similar to, but not exactly the same, as Euro-VI fuels — since February to flush supply pipelines and tanks at petrol pumps. Almost all the 397 petrol pumps in the capital are selling BS-VI fuels.

This makes Delhi the first city in the country to run on BS-VI fuels, two years ahead of the 2020 deadline the Centre had set for rolling out cleaner fuels across the country. The decision to jump the deadline for Delhi was taken in November when smoke from burning of crop stubble by farmers in neighbouring states choked the capital. The blame was also put on vehicular emissions, especially from ill-maintained commercial vehicles with old engines crowding the city.

Amid a public outcry over the capital’s poor air quality, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan stepped in by ordering state-run fuel retailers to supply BS-VI fuels in Delhi from April 1, 2018 and examine introducing these fuels in NCR by April 2019.

Oil company executives claimed that BS-VI fuels will have “better” emission than vehicles running on CNG. But auto experts said introducing BS-VI fuels without the vehicles tuned for such fuels will only yield partial benefit since these will be used by vehicles with BS-IV or BS-III engines plying on Delhi’s roads. Currently, only Mercedes sells BS-VI cars, while the certification process is on for other auto manufacturers.

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