New Delhi: The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the ministry had decided to proactively advance the roll-out of BS-VI fuel in Delhi from April 2018, instead of April 2020 after taking stock of the alarming pollution situation in Delhi in winters. "BS-VI fuel will bring down sulphur by 5 times from the current BS-IV levels – this is an 80 percent reduction which makes it extremely clean. It will improve emissions from the existing fleet, even from the older vehicles on road. BS-IV is as clean as CNG or even cleaner than CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) in some respects," said Pradhan on Monday at the launch of BS-IV compliant automotive fuels in Delhi and added that they plan to extend the availability of these fuels across the country by 1st April 2020.

"According to a Centre for Science & Environment study, air pollution takes 10,000-30,000 lives in Delhi every year. We believe that early migration to BS-VI fuels in the National Capital of Delhi will help in saving thousands of precious lives by bringing down vehicular pollution significantly. However, to take full advantage of the availability of such superior fuels, the vehicle technology has to move to BS-VI. Introduction of BS VI fuel will only give partial benefits if BS VI compliant vehicles are not put on the road. I am told that our auto-companies are already making BS VI cars in India and exporting them to developed countries. I am sure they can also do so for our own country," informed Pradhan.

Pradhan appealed to all automobile manufacturers to start selling BS VI vehicles, wherever BS VI fuel is available. The ministry is trying to contribute towards solving the problem of pollution due to agricultural stubble burning and other causes by implementing 2G Ethanol plants, increasing share of gas in primary energy basket from 6% to 15%, initiating 9th Gas Development Bidding Round, Unbundling of Gas sector to promote Gas-based Economy and other measures for Cleaner Fuel. With the introduction of BSVI, India joins the small list of Asia - Pacific nations -Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, and China. And China he said is using it only for heavy vehicles. Director General of Centre for Science and Environment Sunita Narain complimented the Ministry for the proactive step.