As the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is all set to impose an additional financial burden on traders in the name of user charges for collection of garbage, the traders associations and opposition parties are planning to launch an agitation.
The VMC made an attempt to collect the user charges from traders in August 2009 itself.
The then municipal commissioner PS Pradyumna placed the proposal before the council seeking its approval to collect `8.
12 crore as the garbage tax from traders.
But the council opposed the proposal and unanimously adopted a resolution to this effect.
Later, Pradyumna wrote a letter to the government on September 17, 2009 urging it to cancel the council’s resolution under Section 679 A of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act.
Responding to the commissioner’s letter, government served a show-cause notice to the council.
But the council ignored the notice.
Former mayor MV Ratna Bindu wrote a letter to the government urging it to implement the proposal after December 2010.
But there were allegations that Ratna Bindu did not discuss the matter neither with the corporators nor with the representatives of tax payers or traders associations in the city.
Following this, the government issued GO No 973 on September 21, 2010 imposing tax on solid waste management in the city.
Notices were served to the traders to pay a tax ranging from `500 to `40,000.
Later, the VMC withdrew the move as it drew a flak from traders and tax payers.
Tax Payers Association secretary MV Anjaneyulu alleged that the VMC which stood last in development of basic infrastructure in the city, was in the forefront in collection of taxes from people.
VMC is collecting multiple taxes for the same work in the name of conservancy tax, user and sanitation maintenance charges.
It also started collecting user charges from function halls in the city.
Anjaneyulu said the association filed a petition in the High court opposing the collection of user charges from people.
While the case is still pending in the court, the VMC is preparing to issue notices to 40,000 traders asking them to pay user charges.
The total revenue of the VMC on the head will go up to `13 crore from the present `8 crore with the move, he said.
City Hotel Owners Association president K Pattabhi Ram made it clear that they would not pay even a single rupee towards user charges and ready to face any consequences.
There are hotels which are paying `50,000 as Dangerous and Offensive Trade Licence fee.
It includes the sanitation maintenance charges.
Whenever they increase the garbage collection charge, they contend that we are producing more waste.
But there is no truth in the contention of VMC, he said.