We live in a world where greenhouse gases rule the atmosphere. No wonder that industrial and vehicular pollutants are the culprits. Most of the countries are now implementing stringent rules to arrest this pollution attack which includes India. India has not been much behind the world in terms of cutting down greenhouse gases. Our Bharat Stages are equivalent to Euro Stages. Right now India is running on two pollution norms namely BS3 and BS4. Since April 2010, BS4 has been in-force in 13 major cities across the country while the rest of the sub-continent still follows BS3. There have been talks in the market saying India may skip the next pollution norm and straight away adapt the superior one which would be Bharat Stage 6.
Now the question is. Is India ready for BS5? There are some issues that common people fail to understand and blame everyone for the higher pollution levels. First of all we all should digest that India doesn’t follow the trend of discarding old vehicles as the western world does. We use the same vehicle for generations and generations and end up blaming the government norms for high pollution. We do this not because we love using aged old vehicles but we do this because the cost of living is very high in our country when compared to the western world. So forget changing the scenario in our country.
Next problem arises from the dual pollution norms. To explain this, I would choose the HM Ambassador vehicle and two places in India; Bengaluru and Hosur. I need not give any introduction to HM Ambassador and Bengaluru but I should for Hosur. Hosur (a part of Tamil Nadu) is an industrial town located just outside Bengaluru.
Case 1 – The first problem comes with the quality of petrol. The quality of petrol that we get in Bengaluru is better than what you get in Hosur. Though government makes sure that the same quality petrol is available across the country, it is highly impossible to maintain it. Hence there is a change in fuel quality which will lead to different emission levels.
Case 2 – I am customer and looking to buy an HM Ambassador. If I want to buy an Ambassador in Bengaluru then I can only buy the BS4 variant which would obviously be more expensive than the BS3 version; but if I travel just 40 kms and buy one in Hosur then I will be buying a BS3 model because Hosur doesn’t come under the 13 major cities.
Two places separated by a distance of just 40 kms have two different worlds of automobiles and petrol qualities. With country running under dual norms and with such ambiguity existing; it is fairly difficult to upgrade to a further stringent norm. The automotive industry has submitted a report to the government of its views on Bharat Stage 5. Considering the present political scenario, the government is not in a position to irritate the industry as we are on the verge of elections.
To work effectively, the government requires the support of the industry. If the present government forces the industries to adapt to the stringent norms then certainly it will face a lot of resistance and hence it’s a bad move under such circumstances. So one can expect announcements related to BS 5 only after the new government stabilises which would take at-least a year and half from now. According to the plan, Bharat Stage 5 is scheduled to be implemented in 2015 while Bharat Stage 6 is due by 2018 but this deadline certainly looks impossible.