ANDHRA PRADESH

Stage set for meet chaired by Deputy Mayor

VIJAYAWADA, OCT. 11. The corridors of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) office are abuzz with activity despite the absence of the Mayor, Panchumarthy Anuradha, who is away in the United States of America. Preparations are being made for the newly-elected Deputy Mayor, Musunuri Subba Rao, to preside over a special general body meeting convened to discuss attempts by city administrators to fix water meters to domestic tap connections.

Statutory period

A special general body meeting to discuss the water meters issue has been posted for 3 pm on October 12.

The statutory 15-day period, after which the powers of an `absentee' Mayor are automatically transferred to the Deputy Mayor, ended on Monday, facilitating assumption of charge by Mr. Subba Rao on Tuesday. Ms. Anuradha reportedly informed the authorities that she would return within the stipulated period of 15 days. As there is no further notice from her in this regard, the Deputy Mayor is liable to function in the place of Mayor.

Congress corporators have already prepared the ground for the Deputy Mayor to preside over the general body, a move TDP corporators were able to successfully foil on a couple of occasions in the past four years.

The Congress used its strength in the Standing Committee to requisition the special meeting. The Municipal Commissioner, V.Usharani, was given a letter signed by four members of the committee to hold the special meeting.

Telugu Desam Corporators led by the former MP, Gadde Ram Mohan, held a meeting on Monday in the Mayor's chamber to take a decision and went in a delegation to ask the Commissioner to cancel the special meeting.

Ms.Usharani reportedly told them that it was mandatory for her to hold the meeting as the Standing Committee made a requisition for it.

Memo submitted

The TDP corporators left the Commissioner's chamber after submitting a memorandum asking her not to fix water meters to domestic connections.

Mr. Subba Rao said the special meeting was needed to discuss the serving of notices on 100 domestic tap owners on the ground that the usage of water by them was high. " The Act does not make any such distinction," he said.

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