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Green fee obstacles clear, date soon

Green fee penalty has reduced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,000 as demanded by the city’s tourism industry.

The fee is yet to be charged from tourist vehicles entering the city. It is learned that the corporation is yet to fix the date.
Though the SMC had sought objections from all stakeholders till January, nobody came forward.

The 28-member House passed the green bylaws after the Home Department gave its nod early this year. None of the party representatives in the city have objected to the green fee to be charged for vehicles not registered in Himachal, said, officials.
“To address the grievances of the tourism industry, the civic body held a meeting with hoteliers and other stakeholders and reduced the green fee fine from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2, 000,” said Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Rai. “We have cleared all hurdles and the date for the launch of the app-based green fee would be fixed shortly,” he added.
“The SMC hopes to earn about Rs 12 crore to Rs 15 crore from the green fee. The amount will be used to pay the wages of 150 safai karamcharis and maintain cleanliness. We are charging less than what is being charged in Manali,” said Rai.

Residents’ Welfare Associations supported the SMC’s move saying the vehicles entering the capital should pay “nominal green fee” as these add to the pollution and congestion. Besides, it will give an additional income of Rs 12 crore to Rs 15 crore in a year that can be used in promoting the green growth of the city, they said.
The SMC has already put up billboards educating tourists about the green fee app. It has also held meetings with the DCs and SPs of Shimla and Solan to finalize all modalities.

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