*Civic body begins clearing of river bund encroachments
*

VIJAYAWADA: The civic authorities have started the process of clearing the
river bunds of illegal encroachments by evacuating 85 families staying at
the Padmavathi Ghat.

They were temporarily provided shelter at a four-acre site at
Rajarajeswaripet.

City planner P Venkat Ratnam said that the process would continue on
Saturday and the entire Padmavathi Ghat would be cleared off the
encroachments.

This is the first in a series of steps the district administration has
initiated to clear the river bund of encroachments. According to official
estimates, there are over 15,000 persons residing in the make-shift huts on
the river bund.

The administration has drawn up plans to rehabilitate them in pucca houses
under the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Land acquisition
process in two upland villages of the district has already been initiated.

The process would continue on Saturday and the entire Padmavathi Ghat would
be cleared off the