March 31, 2017 12:28:48 pm
On March 29, the Supreme Court imposed a total ban on the sale and purchase of BS-III-compliant vehicles in India from April 1. The court observed that the ‘health of people is far, far more important than the commercial interests of manufacturers.’ The Bharat Stage (BS) emission standards have been put in place by India to keep a check on pollutants being emitted from vehicle exhausts. It was reportedly in 1991 that the first emission standards were introduced in the market.
The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had requested the court to prohibit the sale and registration of BS-III vehicles in order to prevent alarming rise in pollution levels. Companies like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor Co has already moved to BS-IV car models.
The court also turned down an appeal by carmakers to let them clear stock. A total of 8,24,275 BS-III vehicles, most of which are accounted by two-wheelers, are in stock.
Huge discounts on offer for BS-III bikes
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Companies like Hero Motocorp, HMSI and Suzuki Motorcycle offered ‘unheard of’ discounts for BS-III bikes in order to offload them before the Supreme Court deadline comes into effect on April 1. Discounts of up to Rs 22,000 were being offered on some bikes. Customers were reported to be walking in large numbers into showrooms in Delhi after news of BS-III bikes being sold spread by word of mouth.
Honda Motorcycle said it was offering cashback offer of Rs 22,000 on models Activa 3G (priced Rs 50,290), Dream Yuga (Rs 51,741), CB Shine (Rs 55,799 to Rs 61,283) and CD 110DX (Rs 47,202 to Rs 47,494).
Hero Motocorp is offering discounts on scooters Duet (priced Rs 49,480) and Maestro Edge (Rs 51,030), motorcycles Glamour (Rs 59,755) and Splendor 125 (Rs 55,575).
Bajaj Auto put up on offer discounts and free insurance on its different models, starting from entry level Platina to Pulsar RS200 in the range of Rs 3,000 to Rs 12,000.
Arun Sharma, the general manager of a Honda dealership store in Lajpat Nagar, told the Indian Express that they were able to sell over 30 two-wheelers in the last two days while they usually sold five in a month on these models.
Supreme Court decision will hit industry: Tata Motors
Tata Motors said the top court’s ban on BS-III vehicles will have a material impact on the automotive industry. It described the order as ‘unprecedented.’
“The decision by Hon’ble Supreme Court to ban sale of all BSIII vehicles from April 1, 2017 is an unexpected and unprecedented move that will have a material impact on the entire automotive industry, OEM’s and dealer network,” the company statement read.
Industry estimates said the total value of the vehicles likely to be impacted by the ban will amount to Rs 20,000 crore.
NGT tells oil companies to stop using BS-I, BS-II vehicles
Public sector oil companies have been instructed by the National Green Tribunal to stop using BS-1, BS-II vehicles to transport petroleum products in Delhi-NCR.
“We direct that all the vehicles of these companies which are working under different contracts in Delhi-NCR and the diesel vehicles which are admittedly more than 10 years old and are BS-I and BS-II compliant shall be withdrawn forthwith from the road. They shall not be plied at all in NCR, Delhi. The Managing Directors of all these companies shall be personally liable for compliance with this order,” it said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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