No to Green Tax in Shimla
Shimla, July 7
The government has turned down the proposal of the local Municipal Corporation (MC) for imposition of Green Tax on outside state vehicles entering the town, which could have been used for protecting forests and undertaking other environment in the state capital.
It was barely a month back that the MC had sent a proposal to the Secretary, Urban Development, for allowing imposition of Green Tax on the lines of a similar tax being charged from visitors entering the tourist town of Manali. The MC had contested that imposition of such a tax would in no way affect the locals and at the same time it would have provided adequate funds for undertaking various beautification and development works.
It was last week that the proposal was rejected, turning down the plea of the MC, which had duly passed a resolution in this regard. “The proposal of the MC has been turned down by the Urban Development Department, intimation of which we got last week,” confirmed the Commissioner (MC), AN Sharma.
The cash-strapped MC was hopeful that with a similar tax being charged in Manali, they too could raise resources, as both places were important from tourism point of view. “We intended to utilise the money for beautification works and forest protection as a substantial amount be generated by way of Green Tax,” Sharma said.
Senior officials argued that imposition of such a tax was simply not possible without the approval of the Cabinet. In Manali too, it had been imposed following the directives of the high court regarding regulation of traffic in the tourist town, which was plagued by traffic congestion.
The Green Tax imposed in Manali had generated a huge amount of Rs 3.25 crore in 2009-2010 with over one-lakh vehicles entering the town. There had been a substantial increase in this amount as in 2008-09 this amount stood at Rs 2.6 crore. The funds in this case were being managed by the Manali Tourism Development Council whose chairman was the Kullu Deputy Commissioner.
Officials said the money generated in Manali since the imposition of the Green Tax had been utilised on installing street lights, a musical fountain and public toilets.
In Manali the Green Tax is charged as Rs 100 for two wheelers, Rs 200 for smaller four wheelers, Rs 300 for bigger vehicles like Innova and Rs 500 for buses. This tax is valid for up to one week for vehicles with outside Himachal registration numbers.
What is Green Tax?
It is the amount that owners of vehicles having outside Himachal registration numbers have to pay, while entering a town