Staff Reporter

Fears that they may have to pay Rs. 74 crores

Vijayawada: The CPI(M) city unit has apprehended that people may have to bear a burden of nearly Rs. 74 crores if the new guidelines issued to the employees of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) were implemented.

Ch. Babu Rao, party floor leader in the VMC general body, said on Wednesday that the VMC had resolved to install water meters and collect Rs. 50 crores in the name of regularisation of connections and another Rs. 24 crores for installing water meters in about 50, 000 houses.

Releasing a copy of the new set of rules issued by VMC Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar in this respect, he alleged that the Commissioner had issued the orders in a "hush-hush manner".

Regularisation charges

Mr. Babu Rao alleged that Mr. Gulzar had issued orders for installation of water meters in all the buildings identified by the town-planning wing. As per these orders, regularisation charges would be collected if at least four portions of a building were leased out and meters would be fixed. Similarly, if three portions or above were sold out, water meters would be fixed apart from collecting the regularisation charges.

"This comes to around Rs. 50 crores for the roughly 10,000 leased-out houses in the city and Rs. 24 crores for the nearly 50,000 sold-out houses," he said.