Sena men shut down 'pollution tax' post at Lonavala
An illegal 'pollution tax' collection centre at the popular hill resort of Lonavala in Maharashtra was shut down Monday by angry activists of the Shiv Sena and its youth wing Yuva Sena, a party leader said.
The tax was allegedly being collected on behalf of the Lonavala Municipal Council through booths set up on the National Highway No. 4 at the hill station, about 60 km from here.
"The pollution tax was being collected illegally, without any government notification. Moreover, they charged Rs.20 per person instead of per vehicle, which is four times the permitted slab of Rs.5 for such a small town," the Shiv Sena leader said.
Demanding an investigation by police or any other agency, he said since the toll tax was collected per person instead of per vehicle, it is clear that it was not being ploughed back for road maintenance or creating any alternative roads.
"It is not clear what was the purpose behind the so-called 'pollution tax'... or where the money was going," the leader said.
The twin hill-stations of Lonavala and Khandala are nestled in the Western Ghats and are popular tourist destinations round the year, around 120 km from Mumbai.
Incidentally, for the past few weeks, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena led by Raj Thackeray also has been spearheading a state-wide agitation against toll tax collection centres.