The Dharavi revamp plan has suffered yet another setback. American firm, Pacifica Companies, recently pulled out of the project citing indefinite delays in the implementation of the plan.
The company announced that it was terminating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it had signed with Neptune Developers and the Gujarat-based Sindhu Resettlement Company Limited to bid for this project. The reason — the project has failed to take off.
The move is likely to impact the future of this consortium and the project, which has been plagued by large-scale pullout of bidders.
Neptune Developers, however, said it is still in the race. “Pacifica has pulled out but we are still the bidders,” said Nayan Shah, president (operations), Neptune Developers. “Their exit will not make any difference.”
Pacifica did not respond to phone calls made to its Gujarat office.
Now with the Pacifica pullout there is a real danger of this consortium being disqualified, which leaves only six players, who will bid for five sectors of Dharavi. “This will defeat the purpose of competitive bidding and there is a danger of cartels being formed,” said an official working for the project on condition of anonymity.
The Rs 15,000-crore Dharavi project, conceived in 2004 to convert India’s largest slum into a plush township, has been facing problems from its inception.
Last year, two major hurdles put the entire plan in limbo. First, the municipal corporation’s preliminary report that found 63 per cent of Dharavi’s residents were ineligible for houses under the slum rehabilitation scheme.
Then there was another pullout by developers citing lack of direction.