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Maharashtra govt to float fresh global tender for Dharavi redevelopment in 2-3 weeks

The government of Maharashtra has decided to float fresh global tenders for the redevelopment of Asia’s biggest slum Dharavi spread over 600 acres of prime land in the heart of the country’s commercial capital Mumbai in the next two-three weeks.

In October 2020, the then state government had scrapped the earlier tender for the redevelopment project that has been in the making for the last 16 years.

In August, Maharashtra’s Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had held a meeting to take stock of the issues related to the Dharavi Redevelopment Project that has been in the making for the last two decades. He had also met the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) Commissioner SVR Srinivas in this regard.

“The new global tenders for Dharavi redevelopment will be invited in the next two-three weeks. It will have almost 95% the same conditions and criterions as the earlier one and few concessions,” SVR Srinivas, CEO, Dharavi Redevelopment Project, told ET.

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.

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With the upcoming elections for civic body Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the Dharavi redevelopment has come to the fore again.

In August 2020, the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) had taken a call on the Dharavi Redevelopment tender suggesting cancellation of the tender and proposed the same to the then state government.

The CoS had recommended the same based on the advice by the Advocate General (AG). After floating the tender and receiving bids, the state government acquired nearly 46 acres of land for Rs 800 crore from the Indian Railways. Post acquiring this land and making it a part of the project, the advice from the AG was sought that advised for fresh tenders.

In 2018, the state government had approved the plan to redevelop Dharavi as a single project and went ahead with a single global tender. The area was being promoted as a residential cluster and Mumbai’s new business district, given its central location and proximity to the Bandra-Kurla Complex.

Seclink Technologies, funded by the royal families of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, had emerged as the highest bidder with its bid of over $1 billion for the project to redevelop the slum spread over 600 acres, following the global bids invited by the government in 2018. However, the project could not take off.

The earlier plan, prior to 2018 global tenders, was to divide Dharavi into five sectors, one to be redeveloped by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and the other four by private entities. However, the plan did not progress beyond a few buildings constructed by the MHADA.

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