The fate of Dharavi, India’s largest slum, faces uncertainty because no developer has bid for the Rs 22,000crore project for the fourth consecutive time since the tender was issued, despite the fact that the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA) eased many of its stringent conditions to attract developers after it failed to do so on three previous occasions.
According to Paras Gundecha, chairman and managing director, Gundecha Group, the current real estate slowdown has made builders cautious. “Builders are not in a position to take part in such a massive project involving such a huge cost in the current market,” he said. “In addition, there is still no clarity on the whole Dharavi redevelopment plan. Eligibility is still a major issue.”
The first global tender which was floated in 2009 attracted 101 developers, of which 19 were shortlisted. However, over time, because of the government’s indecisiveness, a majority pulled out and finally the state government cancelled it. Dharavi residents’ associations have asked the state government to come out with a revised scheme. “The residents need to be taken into confidence and a detailed plan needs to be worked out. People should be consulted in every step,” said Babaurao Mane, president, Dharavi Bachao Andolan. He blamed the current fiasco for the high handedness, when the residents were kept in dark about their future.
The current global tender floated on January 31, 2016 for 4 sectors of Dharavi envisions a revamp of the 178-hectare lands where developers had to create a new infrastructure apart from rehabilitating the slum dwellers into brand new flats. The revamp has faced a lot of problems since its inception in 2004. The two main hurdles were eligibility factor, where 63 percent people in sector 3 were found non-eligible, and the large scale pull-out by the developers because of the government’s flip-flop stance.
Why No Response to the tenders
1) Developers are faced with monetary crises.
2) Majority of the developers are faced with consolidation of their current assets instead of investing in new projects.
3) Developers are unwilling to pump in such huge amount when there are frequent changes undertaken by the Government.
4) The DRA has mandated that 59165 slum dwellers are eligible while residents point the number exceeds 2 lakh.
5) There have been large scale protests by the residents in recent times.