Army vehicles to be exempted from BS-VI norms: Officials

India’s armed forces and paramilitary wings will soon get exemption from stringent vehicle pollution rules that will kick in from April next year, officials familiar with the development said.

Beginning April 1, 2020, all new vehicles in the country will need to conform to BS-VI norms, which lay down drastically tighter exhaust emission requirements for vehicles compared to the BS-IV applicable at present.

India skipped stage five after concerns over rapidly rising pollution called for strong steps.

Defence vehicles were earlier given exemption from BS-IV norms in 2016 under Rule 115 pertaining to emission rules of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules.

“It is a practice followed worldwide. BS-VI compliant vehicles have certain technical parameters and they cannot function in tough terrains where military vehicles are deployed. Sensors of BS-IV and BS-VI push vehicles to limp-home mode,” one of the officials cited above said, referring to the feature mandated by current pollution control norms. When any component that deals with combustion fails in modern vehicles, on-board computers limit the power output.

“We have decided to grant it and a notification will soon be issued,” the official added.