Mumbai, March 31: Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said the government will look for a legal solution to help automakers impacted by the Supreme Court's ban on sale of BS-III vehicles from Saturday. The apex court had on Wednesday the banned sale and registration of vehicles with the older BS-III emission norms from tomorrow.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai yesterday, Gadkari said the government respects the court's verdict and while implementing the order, it will see if some legal recourse can be taken. He acknowledged that his ministry had earlier granted permission to the automakers to sell inventories before migrating to the stricter emission control BS-IV regime.
Asserting that the government is sensitive to environmental concerns, Gadkari said that the Rs 4.5 lakh crore auto industries which employs 50 lakh people should not be neglected either.
Earlier, The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had submitted data on manufacturing and sale of BS-III vehicles on a monthly basis from January 2016 and told the Supreme Court that the companies were holding stock of around 8.24 lakh such vehicles including 96,000 commercial vehicles, over six lakh two-wheelers and around 40,000 three-wheelers.
BS or Bharat Stage are based on European regulation and were first introduced in 2000 and progressively stringent norms have been rolled out with the latest being implementation of BS-IV (Bharat Stage 4) on all vehicles effective from 1st April 2017.
First BS-III rule was introduced in 2005 and was implemented in 15 cities overall and by 2010 the nationwide implementation of BS-III vehicles was completed. BS-IV for 13 metro cities was introduced in April 2010 and the nationwide implementation is also now completed wit Supreme Court banning the sale of all BS-III vehicles starting April 1, 2017.
The nationwide rollout of BS-IV suffered a delay due to lack of availability of BS-IV compliant fuel. Oil makers had to make the necessary investment to manufacture 50 ppm ultra-low sulfur required to support BS-IV norms.