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Downbeat Diesel: On Maruti Suzuki phasing out diesel cars

Mon 29 Apr, 2019

In News Because

  • Recenty India’s largest passenger vehicle manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has taken decision to eliminate diesel models from April 1, 2020, when the Bharat Stage VI emission standard is to be introduced. In these situation the government must be more proactive in shifting vehicles to cleaner fuels.

 

Why more emphasis is on Diesel elimination

Price: The price difference between petrol and diesel is narrowing and hence biggest markets like Europe and others are switching towards petrol and other alternative fuels.

Harmful Effects of Diesel

  • Diesel engines are a major source of fine-particle pollution. The elderly and people with emphysema, asthma, and chronic heart and lung disease are especially sensitive to fine-particle pollution.
  • Diesel exhaust :Diesel exhaust is produced when an engine burns diesel fuel. It is a complex mixture of thousands of gases and fine particles (commonly known as soot) that contains more than 40 toxic air contaminants. These include many known or suspected cancer-causing substances, such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde. It also contains other harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (a component of urban smog).
  • Diesel particles and gases are suspended in the air, so exposure to this pollutant occurs whenever a person breathes air that contains these substances. The prevalence of diesel-powered engines makes it almost impossible to avoid exposure to diesel exhaust or its byproducts, regardless of whether you live in a rural or urban setting.
  • However, people living and working in urban and industrial areas are more likely to be exposed to this pollutant. Those spending time on or near roads and freeways, truck loading and unloading operations, operating diesel-powered machinery or working near diesel equipment face exposure to higher levels of diesel exhaust and face higher health risks.

What are BS norms?

  • Bharat stage emission standards (BSES) are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engines and Spark-ignition engines equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change.
  • The standards, based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000.
  • Bharat Stage IV emission norms have been in place since April 2010 and it has been enforced for entire country since April 2017.
  • In 2016, the Indian government announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.
  • While the norms help in bringing down pollution levels, it invariably results in increased vehicle cost due to the improved technology & higher fuel prices.

Why BS VI?

  • The pro-active approach from the Government of India has made the country leapfrog from the conventional BS-IV to directly adopt BS-VI emission norms as the next level for regulatory framework in India.
  • The BS-VI emission standards are much more elaborate in their scope and integrate substantial changes to existing emission standards ensuring cleaner products to the consumer.
  • Besides the more stringent limits on the gaseous emission components, the particulate matter (PM) limits have also been significantly reduced along with the introduction of particle number (PN) limits.