The council of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) unanimously decided on Friday to stop the privatization of the Visakhapatnam (VSP) steel mill. This was the first resolution of the new council formed following the recent Urban Local Body (ULB) elections in March 2021.
Corporations from various political parties including the YSR Congress Party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), CPI, CPI (M), Jana Sena Party and Independents have agreed to pass the resolution after Mayor G. Hari Venkata Kumari presented the topic to the council members. The mayor said the resolution would be forwarded to the state government.
On this issue, MP MVV Satyanarayana said that the YSRCP carried out a series of agitations and met with the central ministers on the issue. He supported the council resolution and said the party would continue its fight against the privatization of the VSP. Gajuwaka MLA T. Nagi Reddy and CPI (M) Corporator of Ward No. 78 B. Ganga Rao welcomed the decision.
Former TDP leader and corporator of the 67th Ward, P Srinivasa Rao, and several others asked members of the YSRCP why the assembly had not yet passed a resolution.
The TDP leaders also suggested that the YSRCP leaders stop agitation for Telangana, saying that resigning MPs was the only way to stop privatization.
There was heated argument between members of the TDP and the YSRCP when Anakapalle MLA Gudivada Amarnath, an ex officio member, said her party was not singing different tunes “one in Delhi and another in the ravine”. He said Prime Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met members of various trade unions on his recent visit to Visakhapatnam. As soon as the meeting of the assembly begins, their party would pass a resolution, he added.
In the meantime, members of the left-wing parties, Jana Sena and the TDP asked the mayor to organize a question time at the council meeting. Some members also said the council should oppose the decision to sell government land in Visakhapatnam.
10 point agenda
A 10-item agenda was presented to the council members. These include the use of the services of 38 community guards on beach areas, the facelift of Mudasarlova Park at a cost of GBP 50 million, pollution control under the National Clean Air Program, the construction of a municipal primary health center (PHC) in Thatichetpalem as well as additional supply of street lights (LED) in the city, action plan for the supply of drinking water this summer, allocation of funds for garbage trucks and a few others.
The proposal to use 38 community guards on beach areas was postponed as some of the companies asked about the guards’ skills. The chairman of the JSP, PLV Murthy Yadav, suggested that the tourism department should pay the wages and other expenses of the community guards instead of the GVMC. Visakhapatnam (South) MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar said the district administration should appoint the youth from the fishing community as community guards. Some companies have requested that the GVMC also appoint guards in Yarada, Meghadrigedda and other beaches.
The council agreed to wage proposals for NMR workers in the Anakapalle zone and set up PHC in Thatichetpalem after the GVMC announced that it would begin the project under the National Health Mission (NHM). The proposal for an additional supply of street lights was also put on hold as several companies complained about the non-functioning of street lights on their respective stations.