Collected to fight pollution, green tax on old vehicles remains unutilised

Published: 06 November, 2012 08:08 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste |

Despite city RTO raking in Rs 4 crore over past year, state govt fails to spend even single rupee on creation of vehicle inspection centre or putting in place other mechanisms mandated by Motor Vehicles Act to reduce pollution

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, funds collected from vehicle owners under the green tax, or environment tax as it is also known, should be utilised to establish a vehicle inspection centre and to put in place other mechanisms to curb pollution in the city, but so far the state government has not spent a single rupee for the purpose intended.

In October 2011, the state government approved the levy of a green tax on commercial vehicles that are more than eight years old and on non-commercial or private vehicles that are 15 years old. The idea was to discourage the use of older vehicles and reduce pollution.

Vehicle owners are supposed to pay the tax at the respective Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) of the state. In the past one year, the RTO in the city alone has collected around Rs 4 crore in green tax, but till now the state government has not only spent no money on any provision for pollution control, but also failed to propose any measure of the kind.

Control the pollution: The tax has been levied since October last year on old vehicles. File Pic

According to the law, money collected from environment tax should be utilised to establish and develop a vehicle inspection centre and an air quality testing centre, conduct different awareness programmes to encourage use of clean fuel, solar energy or hybrid technology, establish advanced vehicle testing station to issue or renew certificate of fitness, and undertake research on various methods and mechanisms to reduce pollution. Till now none of these steps have been implemented or proposed.

“Our job is limited to collection of tax,” a senior officer at the RTO said. “We can not take a decision regarding policymaking. Till now we have transferred all the tax to the Transport Department of the state government. If they implement any provision and sanction money for it, then the RTO is bound to follow it. But we have not received a single notification on the implementation of any provision.”

RTO sources said that apart from environment tax, a huge amount is collected from the issuing of Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates, but there is no utilisation of these funds as well.  Deputy Transport Commissioner L P Khade said the matter of non-utilisation of tax for the specific purpose it is collected for would have to be looked into. “We have to investigate the matter,” Khade said. “After that we will able to comment.” 

Green tax to be paid once in 5 yrs
>> For 15-year-old private vehicles
Two-wheeler: Rs 2,000
Other than two-wheelers (petrol): Rs 3,000
Other than two-wheelers (diesel): Rs 3,500

>> For 8-year-old commercial vehicles
Autorickshaw: Rs 750
Rickshaw (6+1), jeep and taxi: Rs 1,250
Tourist taxi: Rs 2,500
Light motor vehicle (LMV): Rs 2,500

>> For 15-year-old CNG and LPG vehicles
Autorickshaw: Rs 750
Rickshaw (6+1), jeep and taxi: Rs 1,250
Tourist taxi: Rs 2,500
LMV: Rs 2,500

Total amount collected from city RTO (from Oct 2011 to Sept 2012): Rs 3,92,50,717 

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