Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday announced that Delhi will get BS-VI compliant
vehicles by April 2020, ANI reported. BS-VI, or Bharat Stage VI, is a strict emission norm set by the Centre to check pollution by vehicles that use combustion engines.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, the minister said pollution from vehicles was a major cause of deteriorating air quality in the national Capital. “Since 2006, air quality in Delhi has been deteriorating rapidly,” he said. “But till 2014, neither it was talked about nor much work was done to improve it. In 2015, Prime Minister started Air Quality Index. 113 AQI monitoring stations [are] present in Delhi/NCR and 29 more [will] be installed soon.”

“BS VI-compliant vehicles will be coming to Delhi by April 2020,” Javadekar added. “BS-VI petrol/diesel is already available in Delhi-NCR. It will lead to a great reduction in air pollution from vehicles.”

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that Bharat Stage IV vehicles would not be sold from April 1, 2020. Instead, the BS-VI emission standards would come into force. In 2016, the Centre had announced the move to skip the BS-V norms and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020. The automobile industry is worried that the stricter standards would increase the cost of vehicles, especially diesel ones.

Delhi has faced severe air pollution over the last couple of years. Javadekar also advised children to not burst firecrackers to reduce pollution. “I am confident that children themselves will ask parents to not buy firecrackers, but if someone wants to then buy green firecrackers, its a historic initiative of Dr. Harsh Vardhan ji,” he said.

Last month, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that odd-even vehicle rationing scheme will be implemented in the national Capital from November 4 to November 15. Kejriwal had said he had met environment and sustainability experts to form a plan to tackle pollution during winter.

The rationing system helps reduce traffic on the roads by prohibiting vehicles from plying based on the last digit of their registration numbers – vehicles with odd digits are not allowed on even dates and vice versa. The chief minister had also announced a seven-point action plan to tackle pollution because of crop burning. His plan includes distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hotspots in the city.

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