The ambitious Dharavi redevelopment scheme continues to be jinxed as only one bidder has come forward to undertake the pilot scheme.
This has forced the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), which was assigned to undertake the revamp scheme in Sector 5, to cancel its tenders and call for fresh bids from the contractors.
"I think we will get a good response this time," said Bhausaheb Dangade, chief officer, Mhada (Mumbai Board). He expressed surprise over the poor response in the previous tender.
Mhada had called bids for constructing 344 houses in its vacant land. It had planned to construct these houses in 18 months and shift the slum dwellers there.
However, builders have not shown enthusiasm. "There is no clarity on the project," said Subodh Runwal, director, Runwal Group. "We can construct houses and provide infrastructure, but there is no planning on the shifting of people."
The response from Project Management Consultants (PMC) has been poor as well, with just two firms expressing interest.
The revamp plan, mooted in 2004, has been facing a host of problems over the years and even the global tenders to select the developers were scrapped last year.
The state government then decided to hand over Sector 5 to Mhada, hoping to generate a handsome stock of affordable houses.
The total size of Sector 5 is 62 hectares, of which just 23 acres are slated to be developed, with 9,300 slums to be rehabilitated.
These 23 acres start from Sion station, covering Sant Rohidas Marg, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar (adjacent to the Bandra Kurla Complex), the areas along Mahim creek and Mahim Nature Park, Prem Nagar, and then LBS road along the Central Railway tracks.
Housing activists and Dharavi residents blame the state government for compounding the problem.
"The government has no vision for Dharavi, which is not just an ordinary slum but also has a bustling cottage industry in place," rued AP Srinivasan Nadar, secretary, Kamraj Youth Association, located in the area.