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Construction : Editorial | April 2018 | Source : Equipment India

CE needs a breather from BS-VI

In a bid to deal with the critical pollution situation in the national capital, the Ministry of Petroleum has brought forward the date for the rollout of BS-VI fuel for Delhi to April 1, 2018 instead of the original deadline of April 1, 2020. The early introduction of BS-VI fuel gives confidence to the auto industry that BS-VI fuel will be available across the country from April 1, 2020, when the auto industry will fully migrate to manufacturing only BS-VI compliant vehicles on a pan-India basis. The rollout of the higher standard fuel in Delhi does not mean that BS-VI compliant vehicles will enter the Indian market before the stipulated deadline of 2020.India introduced Euro-I emission standards in 2000, by which time Europe was already operating at
Euro-III norms. We have been slower to implement change, primarily due to
the costs involved and the quality of fuel available. With India moving on to
Euro-VI/BS-VI standards, we will finally be at par with Europe and that is quite a feat. For BS-VI, the stipulated CO emissions for diesel vehicles is 0.50 g/km and for petrol is 1.0 g/km, NOx is regulated at 0.080 g/km for diesel and 0.060 g/km for petrol, while particulate matter (PM) is set at 0.005 g/km for both. We should see a substantial drop in air pollutants, especially for diesel vehicles, as current
BS-IV figures are 0.25 g/km for NOx and 0.025 g/km for PM.

The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has already issued a draft notification regarding emission standards for construction equipment vehicles, and agricultural tractors on August 29, 2017. Every diesel-driven agricultural tractor and construction equipment vehicle and combine harvester shall be so manufactured that it complies with standards of gaseous pollutants emitted by them. Meanwhile, auto industry body SIAM has also asked the government to ban vehicles that are 15 years old in the country to reduce pollution. While undoubtedly, old commercial vehicles (CVs) are responsible for 65 per cent of the vehicular pollution, the share of construction equipment in the same is miniscule with under 7 per cent of the total number of units as compared to CVs. Given the same, it is worthwhile to discuss whether the same stringency ought to be cast upon this sector, which contributes to building infrastructure.

The construction equipment sector ought to be given a breather in the rollout of the BS-VI guidelines as the industry is just about regaining its colour after having escaped from the quicksand of infrastructure paralysis.

The roads and highways sector is continuing to flourish with many projects are being undertaken, while many are in the pipeline. Asphalt plant manufacturers will see some action in the coming days due to the expected increase in requirement for asphalt especially for rural roads. The Cover Story elaborates on the emerging technology trends and the new opportunities for asphalt plants. Asphalt paver market is also doing well currently with the growth in road construction and the requirement for asphalt pavers is expected to grow further in future considering the amount of road creation anticipated. The Feature describes new developments in asphalt paver market.  The CASH Feature elaborates on the new developments happening in the diesel engines market with respect to the emission and fuel efficiency. Also read other columns for more insights on the industry developments.

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