Staff Reporter

Chief Minister's visit fails to materialise

Panchayat Raj Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy to kick off the celebrationsMany cultural programmes lined up for eventVijayawada Chamber of Commerce and Industry asks members to illuminate their establishments

VIJAYAWADA: The silver jubilee celebrations of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) are beginning on Monday as a low-key affair, with the much-expected visit of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy not materialising on account of the panchayat election mood setting in with the issuance of notification.

Panchayat Raj Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy, in his capacity as in-charge Minister of the district, will kick off the celebrations at a function at the Tummalapallivari Kshetrayya Kalakshetram at 5 p.m.

Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao, Higher Education Minister Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao, Government Whip S. Udayabhanu, local MP, city MLAs and officials will participate in the event.

Variety programme

A Kuchipudi dance ballet titled `Mana Vijayawada' composed by Bhaagavatula Venkatarama Sarma and a musical night by playback singer Mano and his troupe will mark the inauguration of the celebrations.

During one week of celebrations, the VMC is conducting cultural programmes, including dance ballets, Nandi-award winning plays and comic shows at Kalakshetram.

The programmes will be held every day from 6.30 p.m. Joining the celebrations, the Vijayawada Chamber of Commerce and Industry has asked all the members to illuminate their establishments for a week and offer special discounts to customers.

According to chairman of silver jubilee publicity committee D. Kashinath, the VMC has decided to provide drinking water connections for just Rs.1,200 to all those who were paying a property tax below Rs. 300 a year. Over 45,000 people are expected to benefit from the offer.

To keep the city clean, the corporation will construct 100 individual and community latrines in the city during the silver jubilee year, while literacy, public health and a drive against child labour will be the other areas of focus during the year.