Petro, diesel in India go green: Prasada

India fully switched over to the cleaner Euro-III and Euro-IV petrol and diesel as of Wednesday, well ahead of the 1 October deadline, according to minister of state for petroleum Jitin Prasada.

"We launched Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel in 13 big cities from 1 April, and Euro-III grade fuel was to be introduced in the rest of the country in phases by 1 October. We introduced Euro-III petrol and diesel in the North-eastern states (the last of the regions) yesterday," Prasada told reporters in New Delhi yesterday.

With this, the launch of ultra-low sulphur and benzene fuel has been completed ahead of schedule, he said. "The roll-over happened without a glitch. There are no disruptions of fuel (supplies) anywhere in the country."

When Euro-IV grade fuel was launched in April, petrol prices were increased by Rs 0.50 a litre and diesel by Rs 0.26 per litre. For introduction of Euro-III grade, petrol prices have been raised by Rs 0.26 per litre and diesel by Rs 0.21 a litre in phases as the fuels were introduced throughout the country.

"There will be no further increase in prices as a result of introduction of Euro-III fuel. Whatever had to be done, has already been done," Prasada said.

He said public sector firms spent over Rs32,000 crore in upgrading refineries to produce higher quality fuel. "This (introduction of Euro-III and IV grade fuel) will considerably improve the air quality with reduction in emission of pollutants in fuels."