Bajaj Petitions Supreme Court To Enforce April 1 Bharat Stage-IV Deadline
By Siddharth Vinayak Patankar
1 mins read
Published on March 7, 2017
- Bajaj now wants the court to ensure all manufacturers follow the deadline
- Deadline to bring all-new models with BS-IV capability was April 1 2016
- Honda and TVS has already completed this process
In fact Bajaj says it has already begun rolling out only BS-IV motorcycles, well before the April 1 2017 deadline set by the government. Bajaj now wants the court to ensure all manufacturers follow the deadline. The issue goes back to a March 2014 notification by the Indian government stating that "Provided that the two-wheelers manufactured on and after the 1st April 2016 for new types of vehicle models and from the 1st April, 2017 for existing types of vehicle models shall be type approved as per requirements of sub-rule (16)".
The sub-rule was of course the one that spelled out India's transition to BS-IV emission standards for all two-wheelers. The strange part of the story is how this has been interpreted differently by various parties involved - with some saying the deadline is to end manufacturing and not selling of BS-III vehicles before April 1 2017. The claim is refuted by Bajaj on the basis that the government did provide the industry a clear window to transition their portfolios to BS-IV by the said date - and given a year to do so.
After all the deadline to bring all-new models with BS-IV capability was April 1 2016, and it is only the existing models that needed to switch by the same date a year later. Most manufacturers have been launching BS-IV models since last year - everything from the Honda CBR Hornet160R to the Bajaj Dominar and TVS Victor. Bajaj says it began re-launching existing products like the Avenger as far back as September 2016, and had managed to transition its entire new model and existing model portfolio to BS-IV by mid-January 2017. And as of March 1 2017 others like Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) and TVS Motor have also completed the same process - and are only producing BS-IV bikes and scooters.
TVS says, "As part of our plans to gear up for the BS-IV norms, we have completely transitioned to the production of BS IV vehicles as on March 1." But it appears that the industry's combined view is still one that seeks either an extension of the said deadline or some sort of leeway or incentive. This is primarily to clear inventories and stocks of BS-III bikes that are already in the system they say. The Environment Pollution Control Authority or EPCA is firmly against any such move, and agrees with Bajaj Auto. The EPCA was the one to bring this matter to the attention of the court and has been tasked with overseeing its implementation. The EPCA says, "
There is no need to give any further extension, as enough time had been given to automakers to ensure they only roll out Bharat Stage 4 vehicles from 1st April. Any Bharat Stage 3 vehicle sold after this period will be 75 times more polluting than a Stage 4 vehicle." The court has heard some arguments and has listed Bajaj's petition for a hearing on the matter on the 20th of March 2017. This is when we will also get some idea of whether or not the deadline will really be met in its entirety or not - either by stopping sales/registration of all BS-III vehicles across India, or by levying a penalty on them for a set grace period.
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