India Will Stick to its New Emission Rule Deadline, Gadkari Says

  • Government had set simultaneous 2020 deadline for 2 pollutants
  • Automakers contend inadequate testing poses risk to safety

India reiterated it will bring forward stricter standards governing vehicle emissions by four years despite protests by carmakers that the skipping of an intermediate step disrupts their product development plans.

The government is not reconsidering its decision, Nitin Gadkari, India’s minister for road transport and highways, said in a press briefing in New Delhi Monday.

“When the same carmakers are following the same norms across the globe, then why not here?” he said. “Pollution is a growing problem and we need to wake up.”

Last week, the government announced that all new cars will have to meet Bharat Stage 6 regulations, equivalent to the European Union’s Euro 6 emissions norms, by April 2020. The rule skips the BS-5 stage after determining that fuel conforming to the stricter standards will be available by then. The stricter BS-6 benchmark calls for a 68 percent reduction in nitrous oxide gases from current levels.

Carmakers including Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the largest auto manufacturer in the country, and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., have criticized the plan, saying that there was inadequate time to test vehicles for stricter norms. The transport ministry plan comes after the Supreme Court upheld an order that restricted registrations of cars with diesel engines larger than 2.0 liters through March in a bid to stem worsening air pollution in the capital. The Delhi government is also testing a program that restricts the use of a vehicle according to their license-plate number.

Cars currently sold in the country are subject to BS-4 standards, which were rolled out in 2010 and are being phased in through 2017. Authorities two years ago considered an April 2024 deadline for autos to meet BS-6 regulations, and a draft notification from the ministry late last year suggested a 2021 date.

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