The former Minister and veteran Congress leader S.S. Mallikarjun on Monday questioned the propriety of enhancing the water tariff from Rs. 660 a year for domestic connections to Rs. 2,100.

Ridiculing the move, he said the city corporation was now supplying drinking water once in 10 days, and was insisting that people pay revised rate.

Addressing party workers after leading a rally in protest against the hike in water tariff, Mr. Mallikarjun termed the move inhuman.

The government, while enhancing the water tariff, had made it clear that the revised rate could be imposed only by those civic bodies that supplied at least 135 litres of water a day to every citizen.

An increase by 5 per cent to 20 per cent would not have been opposed because it would not have burdened the people, he said. He urged people not to pay the new water tariff. Demanding that the government withdraw the hike immediately, he said the Congress would not hesitate to launch a legal battle against the government if it was not done.

Shamanur Shivashankarappa, MLA, in his address, warned that he would launch an agitation, including fast, if the government did not withdraw the hike in water tariff immediately.