After dragging the project for the last nine years, the State government is all set to speed up the Dharavi revamp project.
After getting an in-principle nod from chief minister Prithviraj Chavan last week, the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA) has now fixed a deadline to complete the tendering process within the next five months for four sectors in the plan.
Of the five sectors, sector 5 has been assigned to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) which has already started work.
According to Samir Kumar Biswas, chief executive officer, DRP, the process has already been sped up.
“We are working day and night on this project,” said Biswas.
He said work has also started with Ernst and Young who have been appointed as project management consultants to help prepare documents detailing the selection criteria for the bidders.
According to housing department officials, Chavan wants this project to progress quickly.
“This is a high profile project and Chavan wants to show everyone that he implemented such a grand project which has been languishing for years,” said the official who declined to identify himself.
“In addition, since elections are due next year, he has given a deadline to start all processes within this year itself,” he added.
After last week week’s nod from Chavan, the project will need a green signal from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and then the housing ministry.
After that the file would be passed on to the Urban Development Department (UDD), headed by Chavan, for the final nod.
Two of the current problems encountered are resistance from the slum dwellers and land acquisition. Residents accuse the DRP of keeping them in dark over the entire project.
“There is climate of mistrust and confusion across the place.
This is just a land grab undertaken by the state government,” said Baburao Mane, President, Dharavi Bachao Samitee.
Another problem is of land acquisition as approximately 15% of the land to be redeveloped is privately owned.
“It takes years to acquire land and here this land is not meant for roads or amenities, but for housing existing residents and for sale in the market,” rued a senior official.