Staff Reporter

'The Congress has gone back on its promise'

The annual income from levying user charges was to the tune of Rs.7 crores annually, he saysCharges Government with neglecting junior doctors who demanded their levyCritical of the way Kalachakra is being organised

GUNTUR: The State Government is lacking clarity on levying of user charges at Government hospitals as Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy himself was constantly changing his statements, said former Minister and Telugu Desam Party official representative Kodela Siva Prasada Rao.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday, he said the Congress had gone back on its pre-poll promise of abolishing user charges. "The Congress, which made a hue and cry on the user charges during the TDP rule, is now going back on its word and trying to levy user charges," he said.

The agitating junior doctors, who demanded levying of user-charges for providing better services at the hospitals, were ignored and the State Government seemed to have suddenly decided to levy the charges, said Dr. Kodela. "The annual income from levying user charges was to the tune of Rs.7 crores annually," he said.

The Government shamelessly used up Rs.16 crores raised by erstwhile TDP regime by levying user charges and had used it for some other purpose. People should understand the deception of the Congress, he said, adding that it was known for its opportunistic politics and this was another example of it.

Kalachakra

Due to the delay in the release of funds for Kalachakra, officials and contractors were unable to execute the works on time, he alleged. The quality of various works undertaken at Amaravathi and Dharanikota was suffering as a result, he added.

The Government had been informed of Kalachakra two years ago, but it had not undertaken any works till the last minute, he said. The pollution of the Krishna as a result of dumping the sewerage into it needs to be checked, he said.

Hoteliers, shopkeepers and autorickshaw drivers were fleecing tourists, he said. There was no proper warning system at the river to prevent tourists from accidentally drowning in the water. There were no doctors at the Primary Health Centres and the Government should look into these as the reputation of Andhra Pradesh was at stake.

Dr. Kodela called upon officials and people's representatives to work with dedication and ensure that Kalachakra became a memorable event.