Himachal Pradesh government imposes tax to curb influx of tourists to Lahaul-Spiti – The New Indian Express
CHANDIGARH: The government of Himachal Pradesh has decided to charge tourists a “tax” to enter the Atal tunnel. The money thus generated would be used for infrastructure development and to offset the environmental impact of tourism. A barrier to collect taxes was put in place at Sissu in Lahaul near the Atal tunnel in Rohtang by the Special Area Development Authority (SADA), Keylong SDM Priya Nagra said.
A sum of Rs 50 will be charged to owners of two-wheelers. Those who come by car (sedans / sedans) will have to pay Rs 200 while those who come by SUV will have to pay Rs 300 to use the tunnel. Owners of buses and trucks will have to pay Rs 500. Vehicles registered in Himachal Pradesh are exempt from this “tax”. But those arriving on vehicles registered in other states will have to pay.
Sources pointed out that the number of tourists visiting the Lahaul-Spiti tribal district has seen a remarkable increase after the construction of the Atal tunnel. The tax is expected to curb the influx of tourists to this fragile Himalayan region. In addition, the money generated can be used for development work in the neighborhood. “The money collected will be used to improve tourist facilities in Lahaul and can also be used for the development of the region,” said a state government official.