A top view of Dharavi slums in Mumbai
A top view of Dharavi slums in Mumbai
Photo: BL Soni

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Thursday approved the decision taken by a committee of secretaries to scrap the tender for the Rs 27,000-crore Dharavi redevelopment project and begin the process anew.

Earlier, two tenders floated during the Congress-NCP government (1999-2014) were cancelled and the third, invited by the Fadnavis-led government, now stands scrapped.

The decision had already been taken by a committee of secretaries in August but the move to revise the terms and conditions and float tenders afresh was finalised on Thursday.

The previous government had decided on October 16, 2018, to redevelop Mumbai''s Dharavi slums. Dubai-based Seclink Technologies Corporation, backed by the royal family of the UAE, had emerged as the highest bidder for the project to redevelop the slum, spread over 593 acres, after the state housing department floated a Special Purpose Vehicle for the project in November 2018.

After the committee of secretaries decided to scrap the tender process, Seclink had said it would bid afresh.

The Dharavi Redevelopment Committee, a federation of 52 residents' associations , had opposed the earlier decision, saying it would further delay the project pending for 16 years. Under the proposed redevelopment, 67,000 families living in Dharavi were to get 350sqft houses.

Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, who had recently met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with a plea for an early decision on Dharavi redevelopment, told The Free Press Journal, “The redevelopment will provide homes to the residents and will also bring in a churn in Mumbai’s realty sector.’’

An official from the housing department said Seclink Technologies was the sole bidder and the previous government had extended the tender dates twice, to attract more bidders. In January 2019, the tender was opened. Seclink Technologies had placed a bid of Rs 7,200 crore against Adani Group’s Rs 4,500 crore. The government was expected to issue the letter of award by February 7, 2019, but it did not take place.

The official said the tendering process would commence after amendments to some terms and conditions, which would include the issue of transfer of 45 acres of railway land for the proposed redevelopment project.

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Free Press Journal