The BJP on Friday objected to the imposition of entry fee on buses transporting Amarnath and Vaishno Devi pilgrims.

Party general secretary Vijay Goel criticised the Jammu and Kashmir government for its decision to impose a tax of Rs.2,000 on each bus carrying pilgrims to Amarnath and to collect Rs.25,000 from volunteers who arranged ‘langar' (free meals) for pilgrims. However, he agreed that owing to rise in pilgrims each year, there was need for some regulatory mechanism, but no quota for pilgrims.

According to a notification issued under the Jammu and Kashmir Motor Vehicle Taxation Act, 1957, vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims would have to pay a fee of Rs.2,000.

In case pilgrims extend their stay for more than a week, an additional Rs.2,000 will be charged. For pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi, the entry tax on each bus carrying pilgrims has been fixed at Rs.2,000 for three days, and an additional Rs.2,000 for each extra day.

Mr. Goel asked the Centre to immediately intervene and dissuade the State government from going ahead with its decisions.

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