Improve fuel quality and implement norms to curb vehicular pollution: TERI

The experts agreed that India should immediately move towards Euro 6 norms once 10 PPM Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel is available.

June 24, 2014 9:58 IST | India Infoline News Service
Top experts called for the advancement of fuel quality and vehicular emission norms to curb the growing vehicular emissions and poor air quality in Indian cities. At a workshop organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), participants discussed the roadmap to control emissions and improving efficiency in the transport sector. The workshop Reducing Vehicular Emissions and Improving Fuel Efficiency was supported by the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.

Dr. RK Pachauri, Director General, TERI, said: Motor vehicles have provided human society with a convenient and almost ubiquitous opportunity to travel anywhere at will.  However, with the unconstrained growth of motor vehicles in recent years these have become a major source of pollution, which not only affects air quality adversely wherever vehicles ply but also add to emissions of greenhouse gases at the global level.  Reducing vehicular emissions and improving fuel efficiency are essential directions for India to take with a sense of urgency.  This workshop which involves scientists and experts from other countries as well would help develop a roadmap for India by which the negative impacts of vehicular transportation can be limited.

S Sundar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI said India is rapidly motorising. The exponential growth in vehicles in India is leading to an increase in criteria pollutants like PM 2.5 and NOX which have an adverse impact on human health especially of the vulnerable who are most exposed to vehicular pollution; it also perpetuates  our dependence on oil imports, raising concerns about our energy security. We cannot become a modern automobile nation merely by producing a variety of modern vehicles.  We need to ensure that our vehicles, not only when new but also when in use, conform to the prescribed emission standards and are fuel efficient

The experts agreed that India should immediately move towards Euro 6 norms once 10 PPM Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel is available.
The workshop aimed at enhancing awareness on technical and management issues in vehicular pollution control and improvements in efficiency. Experts called on various stakeholders to draft an action plan to reduce the share of vehicular emissions and improve efficiency.

The workshop assumes significance in the wake of the Auto Fuel Vision Committee developing a roadmap for further advancement of vehicular emissions and fuel quality norms, and has now come up with a report. This report is now available on the website of the Ministry and Petroleum and Natural gas (www.petroleum.nic.in) and suggestions have been invited from the public. The final recommendations of the report could have significant impacts on our urban air quality which is now severely polluted. Though, fresh air quality is the right of every citizen of the country, more than 80 per cent of cities (where air quality monitoring is carried out in the country) show particulate matter concentrations higher than the prescribed standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines are also being grossly violated in many cities.

DrMichael Walsh, Founding Chairman, ICCT said It is very encouraging to see that the task force has released a new vision for cleaning up vehicles and fuels in India. But in light of the serious and widespread adverse impact on public health with in access of 600,000 people dying pre-maturely each year in India as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution, its critical that India moves more aggressively then as called for in the community report.

Another important issue linked to the transport sector is that of energy efficiency. Fuel efficiency standards for cars have been notified recently. However, their implementation remains a concern and this issue came up for discussed at the workshop. Considering the largest share of heavy duty vehicles in overall fuel consumption, there is a need to regulate them through the introduction of fuel efficiency standards, experts said.

To strengthen their energy security, many countries across the world have introduced or, are planning to introduce fuel efficiency standards for the HDV sector. As heavy-duty vehicles dominate the overall energy consumption in the road transport sector in India, much larger amounts of fuel savings can be made with fuel efficiency improvements in the sector, participants said.

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