A roundtable meeting on water charges, meters and trade licences has decided to oppose the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) moves tooth and nail.

The CPI(M) organised the roundtable meeting here on Thursday. On the occasion, CPI(M) city secretary Ch. Babu Rao said that the corporation was gearing up to hike the water charges by 300 to 400 per cent. Instead of providing quality services to the public, the VMC was planning to reap harvest out of water supply. It was unfortunate that the officials were pleading that the water charges were meagre in the city compared to Hyderabad. The officials, who failed miserably in plugging the water leakages, were talking about the operation and maintenance. The VMC was fooling the people that it was unable to recover the expenditure involved in the water supply, he said, adding, the proposals should be withdrawn.

Though there were no bylaws to levy user charges, the VMC was forcibly collecting user charges on garbage lifting. The Dangerous and Offensive D&O trade licence fee was also hiked steeply. The VMC should withdraw the D&O fee and user charges on garbage immediately, he said.

Hotel Owners’ Association president Pattabhi said that the corporation was resorting to unconstitutional practices. The user charges were being collected without issuing any notices, he pointed out.

Lorry Owners’ Association president Ramesh opined that the government had thrown the public welfare to wind and resorting to hike in water charges.

Cloth Merchants’ Association leader BJP Srinivas, Taxpayers Association president V. Sambi Reddy, Vijayawada Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary Ramakrishna and others spoke.

‘Instead of providing quality services, the VMC is planning to reap harvest out of water supply’