The government made a formal launch of BS-IV grade fuel across the country on Saturday to keep carbon emission in check and set a target of ushering in BS-VI fuel by April 2020. The launch came days after the Supreme Court banned sale and registration of BS-III vehicles from April 1.
Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan formally launched the BS-IV grade transportation fuel in Bhubaneswar on the occasion of Utkal Diwas, the state foundation day.
Pradhan symbolically commenced sale of the eco-friendly and low-emission fuel from 12 different locations across the country through live video links.
The cities are Varanasi, Vijayawada, Durgapur, Gorakhpur, Imphal, Bhopal, Ranchi, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Guwahati and Shillong.
"Today, we begin a new era of clean transportation fuel that will benefit 1.25 billion citizens of our country by substantially reducing pollution levels everywhere," Pradhan said while complimenting oil marketing companies for working in unison to set up refining infrastructure and logistics in a record time for BS-IV grade fuel.
The OMCs are incurring an expenditure of Rs 90,000 crore for phase-wise upgradation of the fuel quality. "Migration to BS-IV fuels shows India's resolve to cut down emissions. The next step is to usher in BS-VI fuels by April 1, 2020, to be at par with global standards," the oil minister said.
Though India is not a major polluting country, "we shall stand by the Prime Minister's commitment at COP-21 in Paris that India will substantially reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions in coming years".
Pradhan handed over a deposit-free domestic LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) to a woman here to mark the completion of release of two crore LPG connections to women beneficiaries from BPL households.
The government, he said, is committed to providing sustainable, clean and affordable energy as an essential input for economic development of India.
The petroleum ministry is pursuing various other forms of energy like liquefied natural gas (LNG) for industries and the transport sector, compressed natural gas (CNG) and autoLPG for automobiles and piped natural gas (PNG) for households, besides ethanol and bio-mass, to expand the existing energy basket.
The "resounding success" of initiatives like Pahal, GiveItUp and the ongoing PMUY scheme are proof of the effectiveness of these socio-economic welfare schemes, which go a long way in ensuring energy inclusion of the poor, Pradhan added.