Under the ‘Smart City Mission’, the Shimla Municipal Corporation will propose setting up a monorail service to attract more tourists, benefit local commuters, and increase the corporation’s income. Mayor Satya Kaundal announced this during the annual budget meeting of the corporation.
Shimla Deputy Mayor Shalinder Chauhan said, “It’s so far only an idea and we’re yet to work out the proposal. We will first invite some companies to conduct feasibility studies and then hopefully float tenders for the project within the next two years to meet the Smart City Mission deadline.”
He said that the Sanjauli tunnel to IGMC hospital, Chhota Shimla to Lal & Sons and Chaura Maidan to CTO are some of the routes where a monorail can be set up. “If the public supports the project, I’m sure it can take off,” he added.
In her budget speech, the mayor also suggested introducing a ‘green tax’ on vehicles coming to Shimla from other states, which may bring an annual income of Rs 15 crore to the corporation. Other suggestions for increasing the local body’s income included increasing the liquor cess from Rs 2 to Rs 5 per bottle and the electricity cess from 10 paise per unit to 20 paise per unit. Kaundal also suggested imposing a fee of Rs 5 on each courier coming into the city, saying that courier deliveries by big companies are causing losses to local shopkeepers who pay tax and a licence fee to the MC.