MUMBAI: The government of Maharashtra is mulling to invite fresh bids for its ambitious project to redevelop Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi, in the centre of India’s financial capital, Mumbai, said two persons with direct knowledge of the development.
With this the earlier global tenders invited in 2018, after over one-and-a-half decade of deliberations and three attempts to redevelop, will stand cancelled.
The matter was discussed at a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meeting held on Thursday.
ET was first to report in June 2019 that the state government is planning to re-invite bids for the project, tagged as the world’s largest human rehabilitation exercise.
The residents of Dharavi have already opposed any plan to re-invite bids for the long-pending redevelopment project.
ET’s calls and text messages to SVR Srinivas, CEO of Dharavi Redevelopment Project remained unanswered until the time of going to press.
With its bid of over $1 billion, Seclink Technologies Corporation (STC), funded by the Royal families of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, had emerged as the highest bidder for the project to redevelop the slum spread over 600 acres following the global bids invited by the state government in 2018. However, the project is yet to take off.
Seclink has already stated its plan to seek legal recourse in this matter. The new bids are likely to be invited by combining the railway land parcel in central Mumbai adjoining the slum pocket.
Maharashtra’s housing minister Jitendra Awhad had recently urged the Chief Minister to take steps to move ahead with the redevelopment of Dharavi while highlighting the need to rehabilitate slums and develop a robust health infrastructure in these places.
The Dharavi redevelopment will not only be a game-changer for Mumbai but will also transform the political landscape for years to come. According to experts, the project will be a big opportunity for slum dwellers and will also help urban planners, human rights activists and the state government to transform the face of Mumbai city altogether.