Transport authorities have initiated action against owners of Bollywood camper vans – popularly known as vanity vans – for non-payment of tax.
Till date, authorities have taken action against owners of five camper vans, one of whom is actress Poonam Dhillon.
The flying squad of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Tardeo has detained five camper vans since Sunday. The RTO has started a crackdown against camper vans as many owners had stopped paying vehicle tax ever since the transport department raised the tax to Rs5,000 per square meter per annum in 2009.
An RTO official said, “We have learned that many camper vans at Filmistan Studios were taken off the streets from the beginning of this week, fearing RTO action over non-payment of tax and incomplete documentation.”
The camper vans that are gathering dust at the RTO office grounds at Tardeo, were seized from Filmistan Studios at Goregaon.
“During checks by our flying squads, camper van crew members were unable to show valid documents and tax payment details,” said Madhukar Jadhav, RTO of Tardeo. He said, “Our drive against camper vans will continue.”
Of the five camper vans seized, one belongs to Poonam Dhillon — who had launched the first camper van in 1991.
According to RTO sources, the crew of the camper van owned by Dhillon, failed to produce documents such as registration certificate or tax payment slips.
When HT tried to contact KK Singh, manager of Dhillon’s camper van, he was unavailable for comment. His assistant Sajid Khan confirmed that the RTO has detained Dhillon’s vehicle. He also cleared that they had paid the tax at the Andheri office on Friday.
RTO sources said owners of the camper vans that had been detained have pending tax amounts ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakh.