Parties, freedom fighters, trade unions chalk out action plan
YSR's assertion that it will not be burdening contested Padayatras, door-to-door campaign in all divisions
VIJAYAWADA: The agitation against the proposal to fix meters to domestic water connections in the city will intensify from February 25, with political parties, trade unions, residential welfare associations and ratepayers' associations deciding to organise `padayatras' and door-to-door campaign in all divisions of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC).
To spearhead the agitation, a forum called `Neeti Meetarla Vyathireka Aikya Porata Committee' (United struggle committee against water meters) was formed with representatives of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Krishna District Freedom Fighters' Association, the Rate Payers' Association, the Tax Payers' Association and trade unions, on Thursday.
At a meeting held at Swaatantra Samarayodhula Bhavanam, the committee unanimously passed a resolution asserting that the agitation would continue until Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy gave a categorical assurance that the meters would not be fixed.
The leaders asserted that their "united struggle" would continue till the VMC totally withdrew its move. Freedom fighter Vemulapalli Vamana Rao was named chairman of the committee, which would consist of CPI (M) floor leader Ch. Babu Rao, TDP general secretary Nagul Meera, CPI(M) city secretary R. Raghu, Tax Payers' Association president M.V. Anjaneyulu and others.
The leaders expressed concern that water meters would impose an additional burden on the people and each family, including tenants. They would have to spend up to Rs. 400 a month on water bill alone. A common man was already bearing the brunt of skyrocketing prices and it would not be proper to tax people further, they said.
On the first day of the proposed agitation, leaders of all parties and organisations would participate in a padayatra from Krishna Nagar in 10th division, which would begin at 8 a.m. Local leaders would undertake door-to-door campaign to mobilise proactive support from individual members of residential associations.
Mr. Babu Rao said despite a strong resentment against water meters, the Chief Minister had made a statement in the ongoing Assembly session that there would not be any burden on account of water meters. "The Chief Minister's statement is not true. There will be an unbearable burden on house owners and also tenants.
We will not allow this to happen," he maintained.
TDP leaders Mr. Nagul Meera, Boppana Raghavendra Rao and Bonda Umamaheswara Rao said that their agitation was aimed at finding a solution to people's problem and there was no political colour to it.
They asserted that there was a total resentment against the Government on the question of water meters, as in the case of many other burning issues at the State-level.