Staff Reporter

YSR ‘agrees’ to put on hold implementation of GOs for now

VIJAYAWADA: After raising much political heat in the city by dropping hints about resigning en masse if the three GOs issued by the Government were not withdrawn, the ruling Congress in the VMC general body on Thursday found some solace in the reported assurance of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy that the GOs would be put on hold for some time.

The day’s developments were in response to the Government issuing GO Rt. 1156 (September 19), GO Rt. 1201 (September 29) and GO Rt. 1202 (October 1), overriding the general body’s resolutions.

The first GO allowed the Municipal Commissioner to remove encroachments on Krishna karakatta (riverbund), while the second was for implementation of BRTS and the final one for taking up construction of a building in Brindavan Colony in PPP model.

A Congress delegation, which included Mayor Mallika Begum and Vijayawada East MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna, Congress floor leader K. Rajasekhar and a few corporators, had a lengthy discussion in Hyderabad with officials of the Department of Municipal Administration and Urban Development in the presence of Minister concerned Koneru Ranga Rao before meeting the Chief Minister to urge cancellation of the GOs.

Even though the Chief Minister made no commitment to cancel the GOs, he apparently agreed to instruct VMC Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar to withhold the implementation of the orders. Dr. Reddy also asked the delegation to submit a representation detailing the sequence of developments that led to issuance of GOs.

Officials blamed

During the day, Congress leaders shifted the blame on the officials, holding the higher officials of the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department responsible for the issuance of the GOs.

Lagadapati Rajagopal, MP, maintained that the officials had issued the GOs keeping the Minister in dark, while Mr. Radhakrishna said local public representatives had been reduced to a “rubber stamp”.

Kankipadu MLA Devineni Rajasekhar expressed the view that situation would not have arisen had the Government been briefed properly about the views of the elected representatives.

The officials are learnt to have told the delegation that the postponement of the BRTS project would lead to unnecessary complications, and the Centre might think twice before sanctioning new projects under JNNURM.

Ms. Begum said the delegation could convince the officials that there was no need to issue a GO for removal of encroachments from the Krishna karakatta and Budameru, as the enumeration was underway.

On the other hand, CPI floor leader P. Gowtham Reddy alleged that the Government had made a mockery of decisions taken by a democratically elected body. CPI (M) activists led by their floor leader Ch. Babu Rao took to streets demanding that Congress corporators submit their resignations if they fail to prevail upon Chief Minister.