However, the BS-VI fuels could not be put to significant use as vehicle manufacturers who are already running against time to meet the April 1, 2020 deadline for BS-VI said it would be impossible to roll out vehicles that run on these updated engines by April 1, 2018.
Now, given the fact that the pollution levels have reached serious levels, the Petroleum Ministry in consultation with Public Oil Marketing Companies has decided for pre-ponement of BS-VI grade auto fuels in NCT of Delhi with effect from April 1, 2018 instead of April 1, 2020.
In an effort to curb the ever rising air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas, the governmen has made a decision to advance the introduction of BS-VI grade fuel in the National Capital Region (NCR).
"This (new) measure is expected to help mitigate the problem of air pollution in NCT (National Capital Territory) of Delhi and surrounding areas", it said in a statement.
The oil ministry said all vehicles plying in the capital will have to move to the new fuel from April 2018 to reduce emissions. Objections from the National Green Tribunal scuttled the move.
Migration to BS-IV grade fuels shows India's resolve to cut down emissions. Delhi NCR region has been under a thick blanket of smog aggravating health concerns and doctors called it an emergency. These vehicles will be much cleaner than today's generation engines.
Indian refiners are investing billions of dollars to upgrade their plants for producing Euro VI fuels.
Only foreign manufacturers such as Renault, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, MAN, Scania, Daimler Trucks to name a few sell BS-VI-ready vehicles in the western markets would be able to launch them in India because of ready availability of technology.