Effective from April 1, 2017 BS-III vehicles can no longer be sold in the country, said the Supreme Court. This verdict comes as a reply to pleas by automakers seeking extension for BS-III vehicles. Reports indicate that vehicle manufacturers have an inventory of 824,000 units of BS III-compliant two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers and commercial vehicles valued at around Rs 12,000 crore. The court noted that allowing continuation of BS-III vehicle sales beyond March 31, 2017 does not resolve environment concerns as using BS-IV fuel in BS-III vehicle continues to be equally harmful.
The Supreme Court judgment in this regard reads, “The seminal issue is whether the commercial interests of manufacturers and dealers of such vehicles which do not meet the Bharat Stage-IV emission standards as on 1st April 2017 takes primacy over the health hazard posed by increased air pollution for millions of our country men and women. The answer is quite obvious.” Supreme Court observed that automakers have been aware since 2010 that all vehicles need to convert to BS-IV norms from April 1, 2017. Pointing this out, the court also stated that automakers had enough time to stop production for BS-III vehicles and move over to BS-IV compliant engines.
The affected automakers pointed out that on previous occasions when the industry has switched to BS-II and BS-III in 2005 and 2010, the automakers’ were allowed to sell their existing stock. However, with the final verdict being announced in this regard, the affected automaker will have to abide by fresh norms. Popular automakers like Toyota and Bajaj Auto have, however, supported the government’s decision.