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MCDs grapple to execute SC diktat on pollution tax

MCDs grapple to execute SC diktat on pollution tax
Almost after a couple of weeks after Supreme Court’s order to collect pollution tax from diesel-guzzling trucks and commercial vehicles entering the Capital, Municipal Corporations of Delhi have shown their helplessness in executing the order. The Corporations, which has claimed no such provision in their agreement deeds with the toll collectors, have announced to move the same court asking to give responsibility to other agencies.

The Corporations have also claimed that the move will reduce tax collection as vehicles will avoid entering the Capital territory. Notably, the Corporations collect nearly Rs 450 crore as tax money from a total of 127 entry/exit points in the Capital.

“With the existing norms, we can not collect additional taxes. As there was no such provision during the time of agreement. Toll collectors have refused to comply with this. When we circulated the order, they said that the Corporations are operators and they have to follow the order. And they are just collectors hence, they are exempted from this. As they have refused to do so, we have deiced to approach the Apex court and whatever court directs, we will follow,” said Radhey Shayam Sharma, Chairman Standing Committee of South MCD.

The leader added that if Corporations collect tax, it must be given a certain proportion of it. “Both Delhi government and MCDs are responsible to reduce pollution in the state hence revenue must be divided between the both. If we put additional resource, we should be given a share as well. We have discussed the matter with legal experts and have decided to approach the court in the next 24 hours,” added the Chairman. 

The EDMC leaders had a similar opinion on this. “Though we have not decided yet, we can go with the SDMC. We will discuss the issue soon following which the announcement will be made,” said a senior leader. The North Corporation, however, said that they will follow the order of the court. “We are not in position to defy court order. We will comply with it,” said Y S Maan, Director (P&I) of north MCD.

The court, in its order, has said: “While the civic body, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, will collect the money without any deductions, it will be handed over to the Delhi government every Friday. 

“The Delhi government is to use the money for improving roads, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians. The Delhi government will also have to inform the Supreme Court about its spending.

“CCTV cameras will also have to be installed at all the entry points by January 31 to ensure the green tax is being levied.”  Following the order, the government had asked all the three Corporations to follow the same accordingly.
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