Bharat Stage Emission Standards

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 14, 2022, 12:01

The Bharat Stage Emission Standards are the Indian Government's air pollution standards, which regulate the number of pollutants that internal combustion engines, including cars, can produce.

The Bharat Stage Emission Standards were established by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which is a part of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.

Why Did the Indian Government Introduce Emission Standards?

The major reason behind introducing the Bharat Stage Emission Standards are as follows:

  • Due to India's expanding urbanization and continuously increasing number of automobiles, vehicular pollution has increased at an alarming rate.
  • These vehicles emit toxic gases like Hydrocarbons, lead/benzene, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter.
  • Other than that, 2-stroke engines, low fuel quality, obsolete cars, inadequate maintenance, heavy traffic, bad road conditions, and antiquated automotive technology and traffic control systems are some of the additional sources of vehicular pollution.

Hence, it became necessary for the Government to regulate these uncontrolled emissions and the worsening air pollution.

Developing Stages of Emission Standards in India

In India, the first emission standards for petroleum distillate and diesel cars were implemented in 1991 and 1992, respectively.

Following is the timeline of the progressive stages of Bharat Stage Emission Standards, where the BS acronym stands for 'Bharat Stage' and the specific emission norms are prefixed to it:

BS-I Emission Norms or India 2000 (Started in 2000)

  • The emission requirements for India 2000 were based on Euro I, and automakers were required to comply with the emission criteria from April 1, 2000.

BS-II Emission Norms (Started in 2001)

  • The Stage Two emission norms were implemented in a few cities within a year, including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.
  • By 2005, the Stage Two emission standards were implemented across the country.
  • The most significant modification in Stage Two was the introduction of Sulphur limits of 500 parts per million.

BS-III Emission Norms (Started in 2005)

  • The Stage Three emission standards were based on the Euro III emission standards.
  • While being implemented in 2005, these were only declared mandatory countrywide in 2010.
  • Stage Three imposed stricter restrictions on the gases released by cars, requiring a sulphur level of no more than 100 parts per million.
  • The amount of nitrogen gas was likewise limited in Stage Three, and the amounts were reduced three times over the years.

BS-IV Emission Norms (Started in 2010)

  • Stage Four emission standards were initially made mandatory in a small number of locations in 2010 and then nationwide by 2017.
  • In Stage Four, pollutant emission levels were drastically decreased, with no more than 50 parts per million of sulphur permitted.

Note: In 2016, the Centre Government proclaimed that the country would adopt BS-VI norms by 2020, skipping the BS-V norms altogether. The intermediate BS-V standard was supposed to come into effect in 2019.

BS-VI Emission Norms (Started in 2017)

  • The Stage Six emission standards were declared mandatory nationally in 2020.
  • Sulphur levels are limited to 10 parts per million in BS-VI, compared to 500 parts per million in BS-II.
  • All automobiles are now required to have Onboard Diagnostics (OD).
  • For the first time in India, Real Driving Emissions (RDE) will be used to test a vehicle's emissions under real conditions compared to factory conditions.

Bharat Stage Emission Standards prohibit the use of vehicles that emit more pollutants than the permissible level. These vehicles are also not allowed to be sold on the general market.

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FAQs on Bharat Stage Emission Standards

Q1. Which Bharat Stage Emission standards are currently in use in India?

Ans. The BS-VI (Stage Six) norms are currently in use in India.

Q2. Which regulations are the Bharat Stage Emission Standards based on?

Ans. The Bharat Stage Emission Standards are based on European regulations.

Q3. Which Bharat Stage Emission Standards were skipped by the Indian Government?

Ans. The BS-V norm (Stage Five) were skipped by the Indian Government.

Q4. Which department established the Bharat Stage Emission Standards in India?

Ans. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) established the Bharat Stage Emission Standards.