Shiv Sena leaders from Thane district on Saturday opposed the state government’s plan to impose a green cess on vehicles that are more than 15 years old.
“The green tax will compel people to buy new cars or pay a heavy fine. This is not a fair method of augmenting revenue. It will also hide the government's incompetence in controlling vehicular pollution,”said Sena MLA Eknath Shinde.
“There are 22 pollution under control (PUC) check posts near the state boundary. However, only six lakh from 1.44 crore vehicles were given a PUC check in 2009. The numbers have been decreasing over the years.”
Taking a dig at the government’s concern for the environment, Sena leaders said that if it were serious about the green crusade then it would not go ahead with the airport proposal in Panvel.
“For the past 10 years, the state has put up a board citing the proposed airport on the Navi Mumbai plot. But nothing has come of it yet. The proposed land has mangroves, water bodies and other environment concerns. The Nevali village near Kalyan has an airstrip. If an airport is planned here, it will incur less cost and will also lead to development and employment opportunities,” said Shinde.
MPs Anand Paranjape (Sena), Baliram Bhoir (Bahujan Vikas Aghadi) and Suresh Taware (Congress), who recently met Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, plan to meet the Prime Minister next week seeking to move the airport to Kalyan.