Staff Reporter

MLA, Minister make conflicting statements

  • Move not meant to collect money: Minister
  • Says Opposition creating a big ruckus over a `small issue'

    VIJAYAWADA: Minister for Municipal Administration Koneru Ranga Rao and Vijayawada East MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna contradicted each other at a press conference on Tuesday on whether or not water meters should be fixed to domestic water supply connections in the city.

    Asked whether he was for or against the fixing of water meters to household tap connections, the Minister said the State Government was thinking of fixing the meters not to collect money but to "understand the patterns of water consumption".

    In this context, he termed "unfortunate" the incident involving Vijayawada Mayor Mallika Begum at the general body meeting of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Monday, where the debate over water meters finally degenerated into a melee and led to the manhandling of the Mayor.

    Opposition flayed

    He wondered why the opposition parties were targeting the Mayor for it. "How is the Mayor concerned about it?" he asked.

    The Minister felt that there was no need for the opposition to create a big ruckus over such "a small issue". "What will happen if we fix water meters?" he wondered.

    Soon after the Minister spoke, Mr. Radhakrishna opined that the fixing of water meters could wait till all old pipelines were replaced with new ones under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme. The MLA did not elaborate on the subject, when Malladi Vishnu, chairman of the Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTM-UDA), cautioned him.