The CPI(M) city unit has asked the people to mount pressure on the Congress party to withdraw the hike in water tariff announced by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC).

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, CPI(M) city secretary Ch. Babu Rao said that the Corporation had steeply hiked the water charges when the elected council was not in vogue. The State government had asserted that elections to local bodies would be conducted in two months. Let the proposal be kept on hold until a new elected body assumes office. The CPI (M) was ready for an open debate on the issue.

The party would also make it an electoral issue by educating the people. The Congress government should withdraw the hike and seek the public mandate. The people should also grill the elected representatives, MLAs and MP, on the issue, he said. Mr. Babu Rao said that the hike was very steep and ranged between 4 percent and 400 percent. More so, never in the history of Corporation, the tariff would be hiked automatically by 7 per cent. The water charges would increase with every revision of property tax, he explained.

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