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JNNURM: Lagadapati’s remarks trigger row

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Source : The Hindu Date : 30.06.2009

JNNURM: Lagadapati’s remarks trigger row

Staff Reporter

The Vijayawada MP pleads ignorance of State government’s order on funding

 


Lagadapati attends the VMC meeting after a long time

The subject postponed for next meeting


VIJAYAWADA: Lagadapati Rajagopal, MP, has pleaded ignorance of an order issued by the State government seeking to treat a major part of its share of funding for the projects taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) as loan.

The MP said this at the general body meeting of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Monday, the second day of deliberations after only a few issues on the agenda were discussed on Saturday.

The State government’s decision to treat a major chunk of its contribution for the JNNURM projects as loan was reported in these columns recently.

The MP, who attended the VMC general body meeting after a long time, said during a discussion on the issue: “I came to know recently that the State government issued a GO stating that its contribution as grant would be 2 per cent and the remaining 18 per cent would be treated as loan, instead of the entire 20 per cent as grant as stated earlier.”

Acrimonious debate

The statement led to an acrimonious debate between CPI (M) floor leader Ch. Babu Rao and Mr. Rajagopal.

Refusing to accept the MP’s claim of ignorance of the order, Mr. Babu Rao questioned him: “How do you substantiate your claim when the GO was issued in 2006? Were you not a member of the sanctioning committee?”

Sharply reacting, Mr. Rajagopal said: “I can’t study every GO issued by the State government on day-to-day basis.”

The CPI (M) leader reminded the MP that the guidelines were prepared by the Central government, and the State government religiously followed them.

Mr. Rajagopal reacted bitterly and said that he would not like to enter into an argument.

“I am neither a member of the State level committee nor an MLA. The issue has to be sorted out between the urban local body (VMC) and the State government,” he maintained.

In a bid to ease the situation, Mr. Rajagopal said that in the interests of the city and its people a committee could be formed to take up the issue with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

“We all can request the Chief Minister to exempt the city from footing the huge loan in view of the financial implications it involves,” he said, and left the meeting hall without giving any scope for a further discussion.

Later in the evening, the officials placed before the general body, under section 88K of the HMC Act, the GO and the information pertaining to it.

The ruling Congress and opposition parties decided to postpone the subject for next meeting.

Congress corporators said they would discuss the issue with the officials for taking suitable action and to chalk out a necessary plan.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 06:58
 

Water crisis dominates VMC meet

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Source : The Hindu Date : 30.06.2009

Water crisis dominates VMC meet

Staff Reporter

Ratna Bindu asks officials to address the issue immediately

 


‘Uniforms to be distributed in a phased manner’

Donars come forward to donate benches in all schools


- PHOTO: RAJU V.

Sparks fly: Corporators of various parties argue over the issue of drinking water scarcity during the general body meeting of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation on Monday.

VIJAYAWADA: Drinking water crisis, bad condition of some of the corporation-run schools, delay in distribution of school uniforms, controversy over giving permission to erect mobile phone towers and distribution of house sites to employees of the VMC at Gunadala were some of the issues that dominated the general body meeting of the VMC on Monday.

The meeting continued on the second day as only a few issues on the agenda were discussed on the first day on Saturday.

The ruling Congress admitted that drinking water problem loomed large over the city, more particularly in divisions 51 to 59. Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu asked the officials to take steps on war-footing to provide water to residents of Ajit Singh Nagar, Vambay Colony and other fringe and hilly areas. She and Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who was present at the meeting for a brief period, said that drinking water problem had come to their notice.

“People from areas like Ajit Singh Nagar keep calling me every day complaining of drinking water shortage. You (officials) must address this at the earliest,” Ms. Ratna Bindu said.

Superintending Engineer P. Adiseshu said that the 11 MGD plant, which was under construction, would be operational in the next couple of days. It would solve the drinking water crisis in the city, as the areas that were getting the underground water being supplied by the Corporation would get Krishna water, he assured.

Schools

Responding to a discussion on VMC-run schools, Municipal Commissioner P. S. Pradyumna said that school uniforms for the children studying in these schools would be distributed in a phased manner. It would cost Rs. 75 lakh to supply uniforms to 25,000 students studying in these schools. Some donors had come forward to donate benches in all schools, and they were suggested to adopt top schools and develop them completely, he said.

Some corporators expressed the fear that the mobile phone towers were causing health problems to the local people and, hence, the companies concerned should not be permitted to erect the towers.

City Planner P. Timma Reddy said that a GO issued by the government on this issue had not defined the word “neighbour”, which was causing confusion. The High Court had given a stay in this regard, and any decision regarding erecting new towers could be taken only after the court pronounced its judgment.

House sites

Mr. Pradyumna, replying to queries on house sites to municipal employees, said that the sites would be registered if the members were willing to pay the present registration charges. This was mandatory according to the laid down rules, or alternatively the employees could represent Chief Minister seeking exemption.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 06:55
 

Rs.60 crore assured for roads

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Source : The Hindu Date : 30.06.2009

Rs.60 crore assured for roads

Special Correspondent

Minister, Mayor lay foundation stones for road-widening works


Auspicious start: Minister for Minority Welfare Mohd. Ahmedullah and Kadapa Mayor P. Ravindranath Reddy launching the work at Kadapa on Monday.

KADAPA: Minister for Minority Welfare Mohd. Ahmedullah on Monday assured development of roads in Kadapa city with an outlay of Rs.60 crore.

He assured development of Kadapa on par with other cities in the State. Accompanied by Kadapa Mayor P. Ravindranath Reddy, Mr. Ahmedullah laid foundation stones near Sivalayam at Mrutyunjayakunta here for widening the road from APSRTC Bus Stand to Apsara Circle to 74 feet width at a cost of Rs.8 crore and from Madras Road up to SP Bungalow via Cooperative Colony at a cost of Rs.8.50 crore.

The Mayor said the Municipal Administration Minister assured to allocate Rs.60 crore to Kadapa in the ensuing State budget.

Sanction was accorded to a road from SV Degree College to Rayachoti Road with Rs.3 crore and internal roads in Devunikadapa at a cost of Rs. 2.30 crore.

Kadapa RDO P. Ranjit Basha, R&B Superintendent Engineer Chandrasekhar Reddy, Executive Engineer Vivekananda Reddy, Tahsildar Venkateswarlu, former mandal president Parvathamma and municipal corporators were present.

Approach roads

Kadapa Mayor laid foundation stones for constructing four approach roads to the high-level bridges built across Buggavanka stream at a cost of Rs.40 lakh. He assured to provide basic amenities in Kadapa.

DCC spokesman M. Srinivas Reddy, vice-president B. Krishna Reddy and municipal corporators took part.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 06:52
 


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