People for India (PFI), a city-based citizen’s forum, demanded that the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation roll back the increase in water and drainage charges keeping in view the burden on the common man.
Addressing mediapersons here on Friday, PFI convener M.N. Patrudu, co-convener J.V.L.N. Murthy, and vice-chairmen S.V. Giridhar and E.V. Tulasi Rao said the State government was trying to make amendments to the municipal laws to ratify the increase in the charges at a time when the elected council was non-existent. Water charges were increased by four times and drainage charges were doubled, imposing enormous burden on the people who were reeling under the impact of inflation.
The municipal corporation was supposed to supply 150 litres of water per head every day as per the World Health Organisation norms, but the actual figure was nowhere near that mark in spite of the presence of the Krishna in close proximity to the city.
The PFI leaders also expressed regret that the corporation had prepared the ground for increasing the property tax manifold.
The increase in these civic charges was intended to facilitate avoidance of clearance of government’s dues to the corporation, they alleged.
The corporation should collect the water and drainage charges as per the rates that existed before March 31, 2013, the PFI leaders added.