10 Measures to Control Air Pollution from Vehicles in India

Various measures have been taken to control air pollution from vehicles are described as under:

1. Vehicular Emission Norms:

The vehicular emission norms in India are detailed below:

(i) India notified mass emission norms for the first time during 1990-91. These norms were notified under Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) motor vehicles rules and Air Act and were applicable to vehicles at the manufacturing stage as well as for in-use vehicles.

Air Pollution

Image Courtesy : upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/Automobile_exhaust_gas.jpg

(ii) The emission norms introduced in 1996 were very stringent and crucial.

(iii) From April 1995 only those passenger cars were allowed to be registered in four metros— Delhi; Mumbai; Kolkata and Chennai which were fitted with catalytic converter. Emission norms for such vehicles were notified under motor vehicle act in 1998.

(iv) The testing method for passenger cars was changed from hot start to cold start.

(v) More stringent norms were introduced in 2000, according to which automobile manufacturers are supposed to undergo major modifications.

(vi) As per Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directions only private vehicles conforming to at least EURO forms are being registered in NCR from June 1999 and from April 2000 only private vehicle’s conforming to Euro-II equivalent i.e., Bharat Stage-11 norms were registered. In Mumbai Euro-II norms for private vehicles (4 wheelers) was applicable from 2001.

In Kolkata, India – 2000 norms (Euro-I) have been made applicable from November 1999. With the acceptance of the Mashelkar Committee recommendations, passenger cars and commercial vehicles are expected ю achieve Bharat stage-II norms across the country by April 1, 2005 and Euro-Ill specifications by April 1, 2010.

Eleven most polluted cities had been asked to meet Bharat Stage-II norms by April 1, 2003, Euro-III norms by April 1, 2005 and Euro-IV standards by April 1, 2010. These cities are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Kanpur and Agra.

Two-wheelers and three-wheelers will have to comply with Bharat Stage-II norms by April 1, 2005 and Bharat Stage-Ill norms preferably by April 1, 2008, but not later than April 1, 2010. These schedules will, however, be reviewed in 2006, when Euro-II standards will be implemented throughout the country and Euro-III norms will be in place in the 11 most polluted cities.

(vii) From 1st October 1999, emission norms for agricultural tractors were introduced throughout the country. Bharat Stage-II and Bharat Stage-Ill emission norms for tractors have been scheduled to be implemented from 2003 and 2005 respectively.

(viii) The Bharat Stage-II norms for new 4-wheeler private non-commercial vehicle were introduced in Mumbai from January 2001 and in Kolkata and Chennai from July 2001 to 24th October, 2001.

(ix) Only those taxies are being registered in Delhi, which are meeting Bharat Stage-II norms.

(x) Bharat Stage-II norms for Diesel 4-wheeler transport vehicles were introduced in NCT from 24th October, 2001, in Greater Mumbai, Kolkata & Chennai from 31.10.2001.

(xi) The expert committee on Auto Oil Policy constituted in September 2001 recommended Bharat Stage-Ill emission norms for all categories of 4-wheelers in 7 mega cities from 2005 and rest of the country by 2010.

2. Fuel Quality Specifications:

Diesel and Gasoline fuel quality with respect to environment related parameters had been notified under Environment (Protection) Act during April 1996. The specifications include low leaded gasoline, unleaded gasoline and low sulphur diesel.

(i) Unleaded Gasoline:

With the progressive reduction of lead content in petrol (from 0.56 gm/1 to 0. 15 gm/1 and then to 0.013 g/1 in unleaded petrol) introduction of unleaded petrol for new passenger cars from April, 1995 and supply of only unleaded petrol for all vehicles from September, 1998, in NCT—Delhi a lethal pollutant from vehicular exhaust has been removed. The lead content in the atmosphere near traffic intersections of Delhi has reduced by more than 60% with the introduction of unleaded petrol (Table 9.10).

Table 9.10 Gasoline Lead Phase out Programme in India:

Phase Introduction date Gasoline Lead Areas covered
Phase -I June, 1994 Low leaded (0.15 g/1) Cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
Phase – II 1.4.1995 Unleaded (0.013 g/1) (low leaded) Cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
Phase – III 1.1.1997 Low leaded (0.15 g/1) Entire country.
Phase – IV 1.9.1998 Ban on leaded fuel only unleaded fuel) NCT – Delhi and 45 other cities.
Phase – V 31.12.1998 (Advanced to 1.9.98) Unleaded (0.013 g/1) (low leaded) All other capitals of States/UTs and other major cities.
Phase – VI 1.1.1999 Unleaded (0.013 g/1) National Capital Region.
Phase – VII 1.2.2000 Unleaded (0.013 g/1) Entire Country.

(ii) Benzene Reduction:

The fear of increased emission of benzene and reduced performance of engines by the use of unleaded petrol has also been falsified. The oil refineries were told to combine the benzene content in the unleaded petrol upto 5% (v/v) in 1996 and 3% (v/v) from the year 2000.

In addition to phasing out of lead, it is considered necessary to reduce the benzene (to 1% or lower) and aromatics in petrol not only for Delhi but also for other parts of the country. The benzene reduction programme is given in Table 9.11.

Table 9.11 Gasoline Benzene Reduction Programme:

Date of Introduction Benzene content Areas Covered
Before 1966 No specification for Benzene Entire Country
April 2000 3% Benzene Metro Cities
November 2000 1% Benzene NCT and Mumbai
2005 1% Benzene Entire Country

(iii) Sulphur in Diesel:

Sulphur content in diesel supplied in Delhi was reduced to 0.5% in 1996 and it was further reduced to 0.25% from April 1996 onward. The diesel with 0.25% sulphur has been made available throughout the country by September, 1999.

Considering the fact that several countries have introduced diesel with much lower sulphur content and it is necessary to have low sulphur diesel for meeting the emission norms beyond EURO-II norms (for EURO-I to EURO-II norms, sulphur content in diesel is 0.3%), the refineries will need to take steps for bringing down the sulphur content.

As per Supreme Court order (10th May 2000) single quality diesel with 0.05% sulphur to be supplied in NCT-Delhi and National Capital Region by 30th June 2001 respectively.

3. Lubricants Quality:

Specifications of 2T oil for two stroke engine with respect to smoke have been notified under EPA during September 1998 for implementation from 1.4.1999 throughout the country. Pre-mix 2T oil dispenser has been installed at all petrol filling stations in Delhi so that excessive oil is not being used by the vehicle owners. Sale of loose 2T oil has been banned from December 1998 in Delhi.

4. Alternate Fuels:

A very important factor in reducing vehicular pollution is the introduction of alternative fuels such as CNG and LPG.

(i) CNG (Compressed Natural Gas):

CNG is a better and clean fuel providing limited emissions of various toxic gases. All Government Vehicles were required to compulsorily fit CNG Kit or catalytic converter by December 1996. New CNG taxies are being registered in Delhi as well as there is no restriction or registration of CNG vehicles in National Capital Territory (NCT) as they already comply EURO-II norms. The customs duty on CNG kits has been exempted for promotion of installation of CNG kits in vehicles. Emission norms for CNG vehicles have been notified under Motor Vehicles Rules dated 24.4.2001.

(ii) LPG:

The use of LPG as an alternate fuel in automobiles has been made applicable for which amendment has been made in Motor Vehicles Act to legally permit the use of LPG as automobile fuel Hon’ble Supreme Court permitted dual mode facility (CNG + Petrol) for the vehicles in its order dated 10th May 2000. Emission norms for LPG vehicles were modified on 24.4.2001.

(iii) Battery driven vehicles:

Battery driven vehicles have been introduced in few corridors in Delhi.

5. Phase out of Grossly Polluting Vehicles:

(i) Registration of new auto rickshaws with conventional engine has been banned from May 1996 and registration of Defence Service and Govt. auctioned vehicles has been banned from April 1998 in Delhi.

(ii) Commercial vehicles more than 20 years old had been prohibited from plying with effect from October 1998, followed by phase out of 17 to 20 years old commercial vehicles from 15th November 1998 and 15 to 17 years old vehicles from 31st December, 1998 in Delhi.

(iii) Registration on alternation of vehicles by replacing petrol engine with diesel has been banned from 1.4.1998 in Delhi.

(iv) Registration of new private vehicles not meeting EURO-I norms has been banned from June, 1999 and vehicles not meeting EURO-II norms from April 2000 in Delhi.

6. Promotion of Comprehensive inspection and Certification:

It has been possible to reduce 30-40% pollution loads generated by vehicles through proper periodical inspection and maintenance of vehicles. Such inspection and maintenance of vehicles is being carried on by State Pollution Control Boards, Pollution Control Committees and Transport Directorates in different parts of the country.

7. Traffic Management:

Restriction has been imposed on goods vehicles during day time from August 1999 in Delhi.

(i) Left lane has been made exclusive to buses and other HMV in Delhi.

(ii) Time clocks have been installed in important red lights to enable the drivers to switch off their vehicles depending on the time left in the time clocks.

(iii)More fly-over and subways have been constructed and T-Junctions have been closed for better traffic flow.

8. Public Transport System:

(i) To discourage the use of individual motor vehicles by public, public transport system is augmented from time to time in various urban areas of the country. The number of buses has been increased in big cities like Delhi.

(ii) Private sector has been allowed to operate public transport buses to increase mobility.

(iii) Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) has been launched. Delhi Metro Rail Transport System is making rapid progress and is likely to reduce pressure on transport system of Delhi.

9. Technology:

(i) Fitment of catalytic converter for new petrol passenger cars has been made compulsory from 1. 4.1995 in four metros and 45 cities from 1.9.1998.

(ii) Two wheeler scooters with four stroke engines are being introduced in the market from October 1998.

(iii) Registration of only rear engine auto rickshaws is being allowed from May 1996 onwards.

(iv) More four stroke two wheelers are being registered in Delhi.

10. Information Dissemination/Mass Awareness:

(i) Messages/articles related to vehicular emissions are disseminated through newsletters, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, Television, Radio, Internet and through Workshops, Summer Courses, Exhibitions, display, Pollution Control Camps etc.

(ii) Display of ambient air quality data through Electronic Display System near ITO intersection as well as dissemination through Newspapers, daily news and Internet.

(iii) Publishing reports related to vehicular pollution control and dissemination to various organisations.

(iv) Regular publication of air quality statistics regarding ambient air quality status in the country.

(v) Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) working in the area of Vehicular Pollution Control in different parts of the country are being encouraged for mass awareness.

Submitted by : Dr. Mckenzie, Category : Air Pollution, Tag : Air Pollution