The CPI(M) has demanded that the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) convene an all-party meeting to discuss the increase in water charges and other issues.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, CPI(M) city secretary Ch. Babu Rao said the VMC was taking unilateral decisions that hit the common man below the belt. It had announced a steep hike in the water charges. The corporation was considering turning the water supply and UGD services as revenue spinners.

The VMC was all set to sell public properties such as Vastralata shopping complex. The elected representatives, who never spoke against taxes and poor services, were behind the show, he alleged. The shopping complexes were constructed to generate fixed and recurring income every year but not to hand them over on a platter to private parties, he pointed out.

The VMC was also gearing up to avail itself of second dose of Hudco loan — Rs. 74 crore to Rs. 100 crore. The VMC was struggling to repay the loans taken from Hudco and nationalised banks. The proposal to knock the Hudco doors again would be suicidal, he felt.