Mumbai: Rs 31.27 crore spent on Dharavi redevelopment project related works over 15 years, reveals RTI reply

In the last 15 years, expenses worth Rs 31.27 crore approximately were made on advertisements, office rent, legal fees, telephone, printing and stationery, rental car, fuel, land measurement, surveys, consultants among others related to Dharavi redevelopment project, according to the Right to Information (RTI) provided to activist Anil Galgali. The details were provided by Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) starting from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2020.

The RTI details disclosed, that an expenditure of Rs 15.85 crore has been shown on Project Management Consultant charges, Rs 3.65 crore was spent on advertising and dissemination, Rs 4.14 crore spent on business charges and surveys, Rs 2.27 crore on legal fees.

Activist Galgali lamented that not an inch of redevelopment has taken place in the last 17 years and crores of rupees have been squandered. He has sent a letter to the Chief Minister and housing minister that if the government redevelops Dharavi instead of a private developer, a large housing stock will be created. The government's coffers will be filled and it can get benefit.

For the redevelopment of Asia's biggest slum cluster a government resolution (GR) of Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) was issued on February 4, 2004. In October 2020, CM Uddhav Thackeray led cabinet committee cancelled year long Dharavi tender process declaring that fresh tenders will be called.

Reportedly, Dubai based Seclink Technologies Corporation and Adani Infrastructure & Developers participated in January 2019 tendering process. On a base price of Rs 3,150 crore, SecLink quoted Rs 7,500 crore while Adani bid Rs 4,529 crore. However, in March 2019 state negotiated a deal with railways for a 45-acre plot adjoining the Dharavi slum sprawl and paid Rs 800 crore for it. Following which the redevelopment plan got entangled. The state decision also challenged in court by the Seclink Technologies.

Meanwhile Rajendra Korde, Chairman of the DPR committee representing the residents, urged government to scrap the existing GR and allow them to carry out redevelopment through SRA. In 2014, during the BJP-Sena coalition government whole of Dharavi was brought under one cluster. There are five sectors which were earlier divided into 13 sub-clusters. The state government even formed a special purpose vehicle with 80 percent private stake and 20 percent government contribution- to execute the estimated Rs 22,000-crore project but no progressive work was seen as expected. In 2011 Congress-NCP government had planned Dharavi redevelopment on similar model.

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