The Communist Party of India-Marxist has vehemently opposed the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation’s proposal to hand over the community halls and ‘karmala’ (ceremony) bhavans on lease to private people.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, CPI(M) city secretary Ch. Babu Rao said that the corporation had invited tenders to lease out 8 ‘karmala bhavans’ and 11 community halls in the city. It would be an additional burden of Rs. 5 crore on the people. This apart, the corporation has identified parking lots in 15 places for auction. The VMC has estimated that privatisation of parking lots would fetch revenue to the tune of Rs. 22.29 lakh, he said, alleging that the elected representatives were trying to hand over the ‘karmala bhavans’ and community halls to their followers.

For the poor

The VMC constructed ‘karmala bhavans’ with a view to help the poor and needy in performing obligatory rites related to death etc. as the house owners would not allow such rituals in their houses. Though it was stated that the rent would be Rs. 100 in tenders, practically it would be Rs. 12,000, Mr. Babu Rao alleged. The private agencies that bagged the tenders were fleecing the people at the ‘karmala bhavans’, he said.

The proposal to lease out the community halls would deprive the poor, more particularly pensioners. The gyms that were constructed for benefit of youth in slums would not be in their reach anymore, he felt.

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