Mumbai, Aug 16: Maharashtra has abolished the escort fees levied by municipalities from transporters across the state, an official said on Saturday. “The order to scrap the Escort Fees has been sent to all municipal corporations by the urban development department, with effect from midnight of Aug 15-16,” B. M. Singh, chairman, Escorts Abolition Coordination Committee of the apex All Indian Motor Transport Congress, told IANS here.

The escort fee – ranging from Rs.200-250 per goods vehicle – was levied by civic bodies to ensure that goods entering cities were not off-loaded within that municipal limit without paying up the requisite fees, he said.

It was applicable to all civic bodies in the state, even if the truck passed through multiple civic bodies till its final destination, leading to a lot of harassment for transporters, Singh said. The escorts fee abolition has been implemented by 24 civic bodies barring Solapur, Dhule and Malegaon, which are expected to follow suit in the next few days.

Singh said the escort fees, along with octroi or local body tax, was an important component of the civic bodies’ revenues, but they will now adjust it elsewhere. Since the rates varied according to the civic bodies, he said it was not possible to estimate the loss accrued by them (the civic bodies) on account of scrapping the Escort Fees.