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Shimla MC to impose Green Tax on outside vehicles from Sept 19



SHIMLA- From September 19, 2016, vehicles registered outside Himachal Pradesh will have to pay Green Tax on entering into area under Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) radius.

After failed attempt in 2012 to implement Green Tax policy on entry of outside vehicles, SMC has again come out with plans for extraction of Green Tax, mainly from tourist vehicles. Initially, the program will be run for a period of three months for observations, based on which further policy will be formulated. Earlier, SMC was rebuked by the Honorable High Court of Himachal Pradesh during a decision on objection filed by HP Public Works Department. HPPWD had objected that SMC did not seek its permission before erecting barriers and posts on National and State Highways, which had also led to hours-long traffic congestion. SMC was asked by the court to rectify and frame the structure and process of the Green Tax Policy again. .

Rates for Various Vehicles

SMC has finalized Rs. 50 for two wheelers, 200 for small cars, and 300 for SUVs, and 500 for trucks.
Who is exempted?

All vehicles carrying daily commodities like milk, bread, eggs etc. are exempted to avoid increase in rates of these commodities, which doesn’t agree with public. Trucks carrying apple crop have also been spared. Vehicles belonging to Union and State Governments and defense are also exempted. Also, local residents who own a vehicles registered in other states will have to submit an application to get exemption from paying tax.

How You Can Pay Green Tax? 

Unlike last time, no barriers will be erected on entry points to extract payment of tax. According to SMC, tax can be paid through its mobile app, which is in process of synchronization with banks, or online from computers. Those who are not tech-savvy can pay the tax at counter in Parwanoo to be set up by a private contractor or at the Sugam Centre in Shimla.

Penalty for Violators

A receipt will be generated  on payment that will be valid upto seven days. Any vehicle caught travelling without paying green tax will be imposed a penalty of Rs. 5000. Vehicles belonging to Union or those owned by locals but registered outside Himachal must submit their residence proof or Aadhaar card copy, registration number and other details with SMC. If a person fails to submit these details and he is somehow questioned, he would be released if he shows his residence proof to the authorities.

Monitoring to Check Tax Evasion

Dedicated field staff, claims SMC, will conduct regular surprise and random checking at MC Parking lots, Hotels, and popular tourist places to catch tax evaders. Also, a ward councilor can verify payment of any outside vehicle through SMC’s mobile app that will be connected to entire database.

SMC’s Expected Earning

SMC has estimated generation of revenue worth 12-15 crores per year by extracting green tax, which, it claims, will be spent on developmental activities or on environmental protection measures,afforestation, beautification, parking spaces, toilets, accelerators and other basic facilities in areas under its jurisdiction.

Shimla has around 80,000 vehicles registered locally, while it has parking space for only around 1,000 vehicles. During peak tourist season, around 5,000 tourist vehicles enter the town daily. Shimla hosts tourists twice the amount of its original population each year. MC feels that the green tax would not only fill its coffers, but also act as deterrent against overcrowding of tourist vehicles in the city. They said it would help decongest the areas which otherwise remains choked with tourist vehicles.

Also Read: Shimla – The capital yearns for even basic public facilities

However, the claims of spending collected revenue in public facilities and environmental protection lack conviction considering the ignorance SMC has shown toward waste disposal, littering, sewage leakage that results in drinking water contamination, garbage burning etc. Also, SMC’s beautification hardly passes beyond the Shimla Mall and Ridge. Shimla city’s most crowded bus stoppages have no rain-shelter, public toilets, and even a single dustbin. Over revenue generation, environment is hardly any concern for administration. Moreover, for now SMC is conducting an experiment and fate of Green Tax policy isn’t fixed yet.

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

City Lifestyle

Self-taught local artist to exhibit ’17 Paintings’ oil painting works at Gaiety, Shimla



Shimla: For the art lovers and critics in Himachal Pradesh, a self-taught local artist will showcase his collection of oil paintings titled “17 Paintings” on a two-days exhibition at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla on December 9 and 10 from 11.00 AM to 6.00 PM.

Surya Ranjan Shandil (31), who hails from Solan district, works in Bengaluru as a computer programmer in the field of education technology. After his schooling from Shimla, he obtained a B.Tech Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Himachal's cutlural paintings

Courtesy: Surya Ranjan Shandil

However, he did not ignore his love for the painting and continued it at evenings after college, work, on weekends, and Sundays.

Later, Ranjan realized he has a collection of his own. His first solo exhibition was held in November 2016 at the Gaiety Theater.

The appreciation he received at the first exhibition encouraged him to present his second collection of oil paintings that he painted during 2017.

He received his education upto Class 12 from Shimla’s St. Edwards and Dayanand Public School.

He is best known for his captivating genre paintings.

I started drawing at the age of 3-4 years. At that time, I used to sign the drawings with incorrect spellings of my name,

Ranjan told Himachal Watcher

His father, Dr R G Shandil, who is now retired, was a professor of mathematics at the H.P. University, Shimla. His mother Dr. Sandhya Shandil was a teacher at the St. Edward’s School, Shimla.

After graduating in 2010, I started with oil painting during the evenings and weekends. Gradually I built up a collection and in November 2016, I held my first solo exhibition of 29 oil paintings at gaiety,

he said.

local himachali painting artist

Ranjan’s paintings reflect people. The upcoming exhibition opens with simple themes like the joy of shopping, local festivities, celebration, dance and music. Most works painted on these themes are in the context of Himachal.

Surya Ranjan Shandil

Following these are mellow paintings ‘Seaside Nap’ and ‘Personal Sunrise’ – more subtle takes on human thought. The artist also takes a step towards satire in comically interesting works ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Chimpanzees’.

Slowly moving towards expressionism ‘Kayal’ takes the viewer to the realm of subjectless painting while in ‘Frenzy’ the artist dispenses with form.

Ending on a light hearted note, the paintings ‘Bonfire’ and ‘A Silent Conversation’ recreate the magic of Gabbar Singh and Rajesh Khanna on canvas.

About his love for painting, he said,

I believe art is a journey of constant improvisation.  

It would be his second solo exhibition. Earlier, he has participated and won prizes in several painting competitions throughout his schooling and B.Tech.


Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

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City Lifestyle

Bollywood film-maker Onir conducting auditions in Shimla for his next film



Teenage Shimla girl actors

Shimla: Shimla-based production house ‘Secret Corridor Pictures’, run by award-winning filmmaker Siddharth Chauhan, is looking for new faces for Onir’s upcoming film “Kuch Bheege Alfaaz”. The film will be shot in Shimla.

Onir is a National award-winning director and producer. He needs a young girl in the age group of 14-18 from Shimla to cast in his film.

Onir has directed films like: My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal, Sorry Bhai, I AM, and Shab. His ‘Chauranga’ had won him multiple awards last year.

The Secret Corridor is looking after the casting & production process for this film. The production house is currently scrutinizing applications and organizing auditions.

In the first round of the auditions was conducted online and five finalists were selected out of over 50 applicants. These five candidates were invited for an interview with Onir on October 8, 2017.

The production house is also looking for actors in all age groups for other projects.

Onir’s films are known for the unique content that works as a trailblazer for the Indian film industry.

He is the man behind ‘My Brother Nikhil’ – the first Bollywood film that addressed the sensitive topic of homosexuality and AIDS.

His other film ‘I AM’ had won him the prestigious National Award & many other awards at various international film festivals.

The interested candidates can apply for auditions alongwith their pictures and other details. The candidates can either apply through e-mail at [email protected]” or through Facebook.

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

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City Lifestyle

Himachal gets a ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala as reminder of martyrs



dharamsala war museum

Dharamsala – The ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. He also laid the foundation stone of the Freedom Fighters Memorial at Dari.

The War Museum, he said was a reminder of the sacrifices of the valiant soldiers of Himachal Pradesh, right from recipients of Victoria Cross to Parmveer Chakra. The Museum would offer a flashback to learn more about the Nations first Param Vir Chakra recipient, the highest gallantry awardee, Major Somnath Sharma to late Captain Bikram Batra, Saurabh Kalia, and others who laid their lives for the sake of the Nation.

Recalling the Kargil war, he said that 54 brave soldiers from the soil of Himachal had laid their lives. These sacrifices will find mention in this War Museum.

The Museum is spread over a total area of 2190 square meters and built at a cost of Rs. 9.85 crores. Outside the Museum, the statue of General Zorawar Singh and murals of heroic deeds are on display.

The inner Hall houses busts of Vir Chakra awardees, Jamedar Bhandan Ram and Jamedar Lala small description of their legend on the wall against a golden background.

The busts of Param Vir and Vir Chakras include those of Major Somnath Sharma, Major Dhan Singh Thapa, Captain Vikram Batra, Major Sudhir Walia, Hony. Captain Sanjay Kumar.

The Museum also houses photo gallery of all PVC recipients of the country besides the medals of various gallantry award recipients including Victoria Cross, Ashok Chakra, Vir Chakra etc.

war museum himachal

Photo: Divya Himachal

There is also a 5×2 foot Ashoka Pillar beside a Pakistan captured flag, regimental flags, Medium Machine Guns etc.

The State government has requested the Government of India for MIG-21 and display of other warfare machinery, said representatives of ‘State Martyrs Memorial Service and Development Society’.

The inauguration of the Museum was timed with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the quit India movement also known as ‘August Kranti’.

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

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