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dharavi: Maharashtra government plans to fast-track Dharavi redevelopment, new deals likely soon

The Maharashtra government is expected to launch new bids soon to redevelop Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum spread over 600 acres of prime land in Mumbai, as the government expects to clear all project hurdles within three months.

In October 2020, the then state government had dropped the previous tender for the 16-year-old redevelopment project.

Over the weekend, at a meeting of elected representatives of Mumbai’s BJP, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the same while assuring that Dharavi residents would soon get their new homes.

In an earlier meeting with Commissioner SVR Srinivas of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), Fadnavis had provided an update on the issues with the project.

Prior to his appointment to MMRDA, Srinivas headed the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by the former government led by Fadnavis to implement the Dharavi redevelopment project.

“Reviewed the Dharavi redevelopment project in Mantralaya, Mumbai this afternoon and will follow up with the Government of India to secure the necessary railway land for this project,” Fadnavis had tweeted after the meeting with the MMRDA commissioner.

Dharavi’s 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 great opportunity for slum dwellers and will also help urban planners, human rights activists and the state government to completely transform the face of the city of Mumbai.

“The current state government, especially Fadnavis, is keen to speed up the redevelopment of Dharavi,” said one of the people who attended the meeting of BJP elected representatives in Mumbai on Saturday.

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

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

The CoS had recommended the same based on advice from the Advocate General (AG). After issuing the tender and receiving the bids, the state government acquired nearly 46 acres of land for Rs 800 crore from Indian Railways. After the acquisition of this land and its integration into the project, the opinion of the AG was sought for new calls for tenders.

In 2018, the state government approved the Dharavi redevelopment plan as a single project and issued a single global tender. The area was being promoted as a residential hub and new business district of Mumbai, 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, emerged as the highest bidder with its over $1 billion bid for the 600-square-meter slum redevelopment project. acres, following global tenders launched by the government in 2018. However, the project failed to take off.

The earlier plan, ahead of the 2018 global tenders, was to divide Dharavi into five sectors, with 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 MHADA.