Rule of law shall prevail, he says at ‘Meet the Press'

Declaring that his ‘mark of administration' can be seen from August 1, Municipal Commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu has promised to clean up the city by providing housing to the poor and clearing encroachments, including those on the hill-slopes, streamlining sanitation, and decentralising by delegating powers to the zone-level Commissioners.

“If the state of affairs has to be changed, the rule of law should prevail,” he said while addressing a ‘Meet the Press' programme organised by the Vizag Journalists' Forum on Tuesday.

Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said housing would be provided to the poor, but persons making a business out of slums would not be tolerated. Small businesses or mechanic shops should go to the respective zones, he said. Unauthorised chicken shops, which were leading to unhygienic conditions, spread of diseases, and where dogs were gathering would be removed.

Mr. Ramanjaneyulu made it clear that action would be initiated against encroachments – whether they were in slums or by big builders. But, if unobjectionable, they would be fined heavily and regularised. Similarly, cellars would be made available for parking, but residents must come forward, he said.

The service roads and sub-way would be ready by January and the entire Asilmetta flyover by March/April, Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said.

On sanitation, he said the contract system would be done away with. The entire work would be handed over to workers. A decision on finalising the integrated solid waste management tenders was likely in a week, he said.

On the condition of roads following taking up of UGD, he said: “Underground drainage is the only solution to several problems.”

On efforts being made to improve water supply, he said that a pipeline to bring Godavari water was proposed at a cost of Rs. 1,800 crore.

Besides borrowing for its share, the steel plant and the port trust would be made partners in it.

Property tax

Referring to property tax issue, he said tax was imposed on rental values based on the Supreme Court direction and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission norms under which tax must be collected for every service.

He recalled that an amount of Rs.400 crore due to the corporation was not paid following non-implementation of reforms. If the 75 per cent increase was implemented, 55,000 assessees, who had no increase, would have to pay about Rs.12.5 crore.

VJF president M. Yugandhar Reddy and secretary G. Srinubabu participated.

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