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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Restrain on green tax: Shimla MC seeks legal opinion

Bhawani Negi, Hindustan Times  Shimla, March 17, 2013
First Published: 20:47 IST(17/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:17 IST(18/3/2013)

Restraint on imposition of green tax has brought the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) resource mobilisation efforts to a naught.

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The levying of green fee on vehicles registered outside the state entering Shimla was stopped after the high court on March 15 had put a restriction till permission was sought from National Highways Authority of India (NHA) and parking facilities were made available.

The tax was charged at four entry points - Totu, Tara Devi, Dhalli and Mehali.

Grappling with dwindling resources, the SMC is looking for legal options to wriggle out of the situation and even contemplating to file a review petition in the court.

The levying of green fee for SMC had been an important source of revenue generation to fill its empty coffers.

The SMC had outsourced the collection of green fee to private company VK Group, Patiala, who would pay the civic body Rs. 6 crore per annum.

With the two-year agreement with the party, the fund-starved SMC was to earn Rs. 12 crore from the green tax.

Since the imposition of green tax in September 15, 2012, the civic body had been earning Rs. 50 lakh per month till date. So far, it has earned Rs. 3 crore in six months.

The company had at the onset provided SMC with 24 post dated cheques of Rs. 50 lakh.

Commissioner, SMC, Amarjeet Singh said the National Highways Authority had provided permission in principle, but with a conditional affidavit.

“We are seeking a legal opinion so as to revive it and if there is any scope we would file a review petition,” he added.

“As far as the parking facility is concerned, efforts are on to create more parking places in surrounding areas of Shimla town,” he added.


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