India plans move directly to the highest emission standards called Bharat Stage VI and skip the Bharat Stage V level, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday. The move comes soon after pollution in several cities has come under the spotlight and following the agreement made after the Paris climate change conference. The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting on Wednesday, Hindustan Times reported. The meeting was attended by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Europe has already put into force Euro VI emission norms, while much of India is still covered by BS III norms. According to the Auto Fuel Policy, BS IV was to be adopted by the country by 2017, BS V by 2020, and BS VI by 2024.
Environmentalists have welcomed the government’s move, which Gadkari said is a step in favour of curbing pollution and committing to the environment. Delhi was recently named the world’s most polluted city, and several other Indian cities have had pollution levels which are well above normal.