Dharavi residents oppose plan to re-invite redevelopment bids
According to media reports, the Advocate General of Maharashtra has opined that the state government should cancel earlier bids and invite fresh bids for the project.
Residents of Dharavi have decided to oppose any plan by the government of Maharashtra to re-invite bids for its ambitious project to redevelop Asia’s largest slum, in the centre of India’s financial capital, Mumbai.
Dharavi Redevelopment Committee (DRC), a federation of 52 associations of residents, have taken a firm stand that the redevelopment needs to be carried out immediately and expects the government to go ahead with the previous bids instead of inviting new ones.
According to media reports, the Advocate General of Maharashtra has opined that the state government should cancel earlier bids and invite fresh bids for the project. A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) panel, had sought the Advocate General of Maharashtra’s opinion on the same.
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.
“If fresh bids are invited then there will be a further delay. We have already waited for 16 years and cannot wait further. Entire redevelopment of Dharavi is stuck and if there’s a fresh tender floated we will oppose it,” said Rajendra Korde, President of DRC adding that the opinion of Advocate General is not binding on the Chief Minister.
After almost one-and-half decades of deliberations and three attempts to redevelop Dharavi, the Maharashtra government had invited global tenders to start the process, this time projecting it as a single project to build a new business district and township.
According to Korde, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has assured the residents’ representatives, in a meeting held last month that the government will not take decision to re-invite bids or go ahead with the existing one without discussing with them.
“Dharavi has over 50 DOTS centres (to treat Tuberculosis) and we are seeing addition of new patients every week. This is due to lack of ventilation and hygiene. We need the redevelopment to start as early as possible,” Korde added.
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