CPI stalls proceedings seeking repatriation of official
Permanent measures to strengthen river bund demandedTDP corporators stage a walkout
VIJAYAWADA: Amidst protests by corporators of all political parties, the general body meeting of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Friday passed resolutions urging the State Government not to implement G.O. No. 512 in the city and also not to relocate river bund dwellers.
Municipal Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar announced that the project director of Urban Development Cell (UCD) would be repatriated to his parent department within a month.
A posse of policemen was posted outside the council hall for security, as activists of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the CPI (M) laid siege to the VMC office. The activists demanded that the VMC stop demolition of houses on the bunds and take permanent measures to strengthen the river bund.
In the council hall, corporators of the CPI stalled the proceedings demanding immediate repatriation of the project officer of the UCD. They squatted in front of the Mayor's podium and raised slogans. Mayor Mallika Begum adjourned the meeting for 10 minutes and convened a meeting with the floor leaders of all political parties.
The question hour began after an announcement from Mr. Gulzar on the repatriation of the project director.
Heated arguments ensued between the CPI (M) and the Congress corporators when revision of Property Tax came up for discussion in the council. Floor leader of the CPI (M) Ch. Babu Rao said that the average property tax per head was Rs. 340 a year in the city, whereas the tax was only Rs. 260 in Visakhapatnam. "Probably, people of Vijayawada are paying the highest property tax, compared to any other city in the State," he said. He found fault with the State Government for levying huge taxes. "Instead of releasing funds, the Government is asking the local bodies to pool up finances locally," he said.
Congress corporator S. Narasaraju objected to this and stated that the State Government released Rs. 18 crores to the VMC in the last one year.
Attacks and counter-attacks by corporators of all political parties marked the discussion on the river bund dwellers. Proceedings were stalled for almost one hour, when corporators of the Congress and the Left parties traded charges against each other.
The Congress corporators accused the Left leaders of collecting money from the poor by assuring them houses, while the Left corporators charged the Congress with deceiving people by making false promises. The TDP corporators staged a walkout, as they were not happy with the resolution on the river bund issue.