Bharat Stage Emission Standards (BS-VI) is a set of regulations that specify the maximum level of pollutants that an automotive vehicle can emit while being driven in India.
Bharat Stage (BS) Emission Standards are legally set standards for the smoke emissions of all motor vehicles which are to be abided by for the sale and driving of vehicles in India. These standards have been instituted & mandated by the Government of India to be followed as traffic rules; overlooking them will have legal consequences.
BS Emission Standards norms have been put in place to curb air pollution, of which a significant chunk is contributed by motor vehicles. According to a WHO study in 2018, India is a major contributor to global air pollution, hosting some of the most polluted cities topping the charts (based on PM 2.5 levels).
Several monumental steps have been taken by the Government of India to control and reduce air pollution as part of the implementation of traffic rules, one of which has been the BS-VI Norms (passed by the Supreme Court in 2016) effective from 1st April 2020. The BS-VI norms are based on the emission standards of the European system. The Bharat Stage Emission Standards are upgraded and updated as and when required.
Prior to BS-VI Norms, BS-IV emission standards were in place. First introduced in the 1990s, the Bharat Stage Emission Standards have been mandated for motor vehicles operating on petrol.
The government sets the emission standard norms for the maximum permissible emission levels allowed for a motor vehicle. The BS-VI emission norms are stricter than BS-IV norms. This variation is to be followed by the motor vehicle manufacturers in order to adhere to the updated emission standards.
BS-III norms were in place till 2010 after being implemented in 2005. Then, the BS-IV norms came into full-swing implementation almost a decade later, in 2017. Back in 2010, the BS-IV norms were only applicable to four-wheeler vehicles in metro cities. During this period, the government noticed a rise in air pollution levels despite the existence and spread of BS-IV norms, especially in metro cities.
Skipping the BS-V norms to put the BS-VI norms in place was just a decision made by the government just to be on the safer side while being in the serious situation at hand. They put immense effort and time into developing new engines for BS-VI traffic rules so that BS-IV norms could be put out of the way for better and effective emission management in the cities.
Implementing BS-VI norms might aggravate the sales as vehicles have to be manufactured following the latest emission norms of the government, which will lead to further expenses. However, adhering to strict emission norms and other traffic rules is always recommended.
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