Exhorting the government to involve slum dwellers in the development of the city, Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Rights Convenor Varghese Theckanath on Monday said those living on bunds were worried in the wake of canal beautification projects and demanded that they not be relocated. “About 26% of the city population lives in slums, one-third of which are located on canal bunds. The government’s plan to transform canals should not disturb dwellers who have been living on the same lands for decades,” he said at a press conference here. Stating that most slum dwellers were employed in blue collar jobs, he added, “Driving them away from the city would burden their lives and cost them jobs. They are an integral part of the city and the government should ensure they remain so” Vijayawada Slum People’s Federation Convenor Chinni concurred with him and said they were not against the beautification of the city but demanded involvement in it. Calling for relocating slums to neighbouring areas, Housing Rights Network city Coordinator Sanjeev and Monfort Social Institute city Coordinator P. Ravindra Babu said RTI applications had been filed to find out available land for the same. Under threatTo gauge the impact of projects, a survey by the NGOs revealed that more than 36,000 persons of 8,000 families resided in the 31 slums on the bunds of Bandar, Ryves and Eluru canals and Budameru rivulet in the city.