Maharashtra government issues notification to cancel Dharavi redevelopment tender

A week after the state cabinet decision, the housing department on Thursday issued a notification to cancel the current tender process of the Rs 27,000-crore Dharavi Redevelopment Project and invite new bids. The present tender was awarded to Seclink Technologies in January last year during the Fadnavis government tenure. However, in August 2020, a committee of secretaries (CoS), including Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, UD Secretary Bhusan Gagrani, MMRDA Commissioner R A Rajeev, BMC Commissioner I S Chahal and Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Ajoy Mehta, had decided to scrap the tender.

CoS earlier had sought the advocate general’s opinion on whether there was a material change in the bidding process as the transfer of railway land was included in the memorandum of understanding with Seclink Technologies though it was missing in the bidding process. Dubai-based Seclink Technologies, backed by a royal family of the United Arab Emirates, had emerged as the highest bidder for the project. The plan was to redevelop the slum spread over 593 acres. Thereafter, the state housing department had floated a Special Purpose Vehicle for the project in November 2018.

After AG’s opinion, the CoS on August 27, 2020, decided to scrap the present tender and invite new bids following the state cabinet’s approval. Accordingly, the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray gave its nod on October 29.

The housing department desk officer Suhas Mamdapurkar in a notification said the Dharavi Slum Rehabilitation Authority CEO after incorporating new terms and conditions will issue a new tender for redevelopment. The new bids would include the issue of transfer of 45 acres of railway land for the redevelopment project. The state government has appointed the Dharavi Slum Rehabilitation Authority as a special planning authority to take necessary decisions to put the redevelopment on the fast track.

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Free Press Journal