Don’t re-issue tenders for Dharavi revamp: Residents to CMUpdated: Jan 16, 2020 01:07 IST
Following the advocate general’s (AG) recommendation that the state cancel the bids received for the Dharavi redevelopment project and issue fresh ones, some Dharavi residents’ associations have asked chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray to reject the suggestion as it will further delay the project, which has already been languishing for 15 years. Seclink Technology Corporation (STC), which won the tender to execute the project, also warned the state that it will not bid for a second time and will quit the Indian sector if the government cancels its existing bid and issues a new tender.
The project aims to turn India’s largest slum into a plush township. AG Ashutosh Kumbhakoni had recommended the state to cancel bids for the project and re-issue a new tender as the previous one does not take into account the railway land acquired later on and the cost of rehabilitation.
Minister of State (MoS) for Housing, Satej Patil, said a decision would be taken after considering all views. “We have to study the AG’s recommendation and get residents’ views,” said Patil.
Raju Korde of Dharavi Redevelopment Committee said calling for fresh tenders will delay the project. “The residents are fed up of this tendering process which has been going on for the past 15 years. The government should at least scrap this project and allow us to redevelop our slums,” said Korde. Baburao Mane, president of Dharavi Bachao Andolan, said they were opposed to new tenders. “We are languishing in unhygienic conditions,” he said.
In February 2019, the tender to revamp the 601-acre area under the Dharavi revamp project was bagged by STC, and will be funded by the royal family of United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, the problem arose when the Devendra Fadnavis-led government acquired a 45-acre railway land adjacent to the area and ₹800 crore was paid to the latter. As this was not mentioned in the original tender, the AG’s views were sought on the issue.
STC expressed unhappiness, claiming the annexation of the railway land was a “non-issue”. “We are ready to undertake the project even without the railway land. Even if the railway land is used, we will pay for the same. We have ₹28,500 crore with us and wanted to execute the project as a part of a social commitment. We will not bid again if it is cancelled,” said Hiten Shah, partner, STC (India operations).