The redevelopment of Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, has come back into focus.
On Wednesday, the Bombay high court sought to know from the state government why the redevelopment process has been delayed.
A division bench of justices PB Majmudar and Mridula Bhatkar has directed the state government and Mumbai MHADA to file affidavits stating what had happened to the Rs5,600 crore sanctioned for the redevelopment project.
Two Dharavi residents, Anand Honkeri, 57, and Shaukat Khan, 42, Honkeri and Khan have approached the high court seeking orders to expedite redevelopment of Dharavi.
According to their petition, the state government had issued its first Government Resolution (GR) for redevelopment of Dharavi in February 2004, by which a Committee of Secretaries was appointed to ensure the project was implemented expeditiously. This GR also provided for granting Floor Space Index of 4 in order to make the redevelopment commercially viable.
Subsequently, on September 11, 2007, another GR was issued declaring the Dharavi Redevelopment Project as a Vital Public Project taking into consideration the strategic location of the slum for interconnecting the Central and Western suburbs.
In March 2008, the state government initiated a global tender process for inviting bids for the sector-wise redevelopment of Dharavi. The bidding process was postponed to July 2009, and subsequently cancelled altogether, even though 19 bids were received.
Honkeri and Khan have contended that the bidding process was cancelled abruptly without citing any reason. They claimed that while on the one hand their rights to opt for a Slum Rehabilitation Project have been curtailed, on the other, the redevelopment process had not gone an inch ahead.