MASKED LAWMAN: A traffic cop at Delhi's ITO on Thursday. (TOi photo by Sanjeev Rastogi)
MASKED LAWMAN: A traffic cop at Delhi’s ITO on Thursday. (TOi photo by Sanjeev Rastogi)

NEW DELHI: Here’s some good news on World Environment Day. The quality of fuel – which often determines the level of toxic auto emissions – will improve sooner than we thought. For a city like Delhi, choking on foul air, this provides a sliver of hope.

Speaking at a Times of India Roundtable Discussion on Thursday, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said that Bharat Stage IV fuel (which is the same as Euro-IV fuel) would be made available throughout the country “much before” the 2017 deadline. This means better fuel is likely to be available in 2016.

READ ALSO: Taxis, buses can’t run on non-clean fuel, Delhi govt says

Facing deep concern expressed by activist Sunita Narain and chest specialist Dr Neeraj Jain on worsening air pollution in Delhi, the minister said, “I can assure you that it (countrywide rollout of Euro-IV fuels) will happen much before 2017.” The other two participants at the roundtable were former Maruti MD Jagdish Khattar and Indianoil director (refineries) Sanjiv Singh. TOI will present the full deliberations to readers on Saturday.

Alarmed by the all-round concern over Delhi’s air quality, rated to be the worst among 1600 cities in the world, the government appears to have decided to tackle the issue as top priority. Javadekar said the Modi government has the political will to tackle the crisis in a holistic fashion and take necessary steps to ensure cleaner air for future generations.

READ ALSO: No plan or deadline for clean air yet, Prakash Javadekar says

In the first phase of Euro-IV rollout, the whole of north India has been covered, including J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal, Western UP and bordering districts of Rajasthan.