Maharashtra: Dharavi facelift project tender scrapped

Maharashtra: Dharavi facelift project tender scrapped

The decision was taken at the weekly Cabinet meeting presided over by Thackeray, following a recommendation by a committee of secretaries.

Deserted roads near Dharavi during the nationwide lockdown in Mumbai on April 2, 2020. Credit: PTI file Photo

In a development that could add to the tussle between the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the BJP, the Maharashtra government on Thursday scrapped the tendering process of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project worth Rs 30,000 crore and decided to call for fresh bids.

The decision was taken at the weekly Cabinet meeting presided over by Thackeray, following a recommendation by a committee of secretaries.

The new tendering process will now be initiated after making certain amendments to the terms and conditions, which will comprise the issue of transfer of 45 acres of railway land for the redevelopment project.

Dubai-based Seclink Technologies Corporation, owned by the royal family of UAE, had emerged as the highest bidder for the project. Seclinks’ bid was for Rs 7,200 crore compared with about Rs 4,500 crore of Adani Group in an H1-H2 Request For Proposal (RFP) in which the highest bidder will win the tender.

The move is likely to end up in the court, as Seclinks has said that it will challenge the decision in the court of law. “We will have no option but to take legal recourse including international arbitration as per Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) between UAE and India,” Neelang Shah, Chairman and MD, Seclinks told DH. The project aimed to redevelop the slum spread over 593 acres after the state housing department floated a Special Purpose Vehicle for the project in November 2018. Under the project, 67,000 families living in Dharavi were to get 350-sqft houses.

After the committee of secretaries decided to scrap the tender process, Seclink had said it would bid afresh.

The Dharavi Redevelopment Committee, a federation of 52 associations of residents, had opposed the committee’s decision, saying it would further delay the project which is pending for 16 years.