GS 3: Environment |Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation

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Maruti Suzuki Ltd has launched its popular Baleno and Alto hatchbacks with engines compliant with the Bharat State 6 emission norms, a year before the new norms will be introduced.

Bharat Stage norms:

  • The Bharat Stage are standards instituted by the government to regulate emission of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The norms were introduced in 2000.
  • With appropriate fuel and technology, they limit the release of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter (PM) and sulphur oxides from vehicles using internal combustion engines.
  • As the stage goes up, the control on emissions become stricter.
  • Bharat Stage VI norms are two stages ahead of the present Bharat Stage IV norms in regulating emissions. These norms are based on similar norms in Europe called Euro 4 and Euro 6.

Differences between two stages:

  • The extent of sulphar is the major difference between Bharat Stage IV and Bharat Stage VI norms. BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, the BS-VI grade fuel only has 10 ppm sulphur.
  • BS VI can bring PM in diesel cars down by 80 per cent .
  • The new norms will bring down nitrogen oxides from diesel cars by 70 per cent and in petrol cars by 25 per cent.
  • BS VI also make on-board diagnostics (OBD) mandatory for all vehicles. OBD device informs the vehicle owner or the repair technician how efficient the systems in the vehicle are.

Impact on automakers:

Compliance with BS-VI norms will require higher investment in technology to upgrade vehicles in stock and making new vehicles. This will also mean fewer launches till the deadline.

Impact on buyers:

Those who buy Bharat Stage VI-compliant vehicles will have to pay more since such vehicles will cost automakers more and they will pass on the additional cost to the buyers. The Bharat Stage VI-compliant fuel too will be more expensive

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