Mumbai: According to reports, the tender process for the redevelopment of the Dharavi slum, the second largest in Asia, will be recalled and a fresh tender is to be issued.
The decision of the earlier committee was challenged in court. The committee set up in November 2018, chaired by the Chief Secretary, the developer selection, has now come to an end. Hence, the redevelopment of Dharavi is likely to get into legal limbo due to the decision taken by Seklink Technology.
Dharavi redevelopment has been going on for many years. The Devendra Fadnavis government set up a special purpose company in November 2018 and issued a global tender for Dharavi.
In this tender, Seclink Technology and company. Only the Adani Infrastructure responded. Of this, Seklink had submitted a tender worth Rs 7,200 crore while Adani Infrastructure had submitted a tender worth Rs 3,900 crore.
The original cost of the tender was Rs 3,150 crore. Even at the technical level, Seklink's tender was successful but was not selected. The issue of purchase of 45 acres of railway land was raised. In the actual pre-tender meeting, it was decided that the land would be purchased by the developer who would be selected.
However, the Maharashtra state government bought the land for Rs 800 crore. Therefore, it was decided to seek the opinion of the Advocate General to keep the tender process the same or issue a re-tender.
The Advocate General had suggested that a re-tender should be issued. However, the decision on whether to issue a re-tender was pending with the Fadnavis government.
The Mahavikas Aghadi government had directed the committee of chief secretaries to decide in this regard. A meeting of Housing, Urban Development, Municipal Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Authority Commissioner was held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar.
During the meeting which lasted for two and a half hours, the opinion given by the Advocate General was accepted and it was decided to cancel the tender process implemented for Dharavi redevelopment. The Committee of Chief Secretaries will now make a recommendation to the State Government in this regard. After that, the second-round tenders will be issued.
Nilang Shah, chairman of Seklink Group, announced that he will appeal against the decision.
"The question of railway plot was raised in the pre-tender meeting. A written guarantee was obtained that the selected developer would buy the plot. Despite this, we have to ask why the tender was cancelled," Shah said.
"The Rs 3,100 crore bank guarantee given for the project has also expired," he said.
Railway plot at the centre
It was decided that the selected developer would buy the railway land, but the state government bought the land for Rs 800 crore. Therefore, it was decided to seek the opinion of the Advocate General to keep the tender process the same or issue a re-tender. The Advocate General had suggested that a re-tender should be issued. However, the decision on whether to issue a re-tender was pending with the Fadnavis government.
What does the Chief Secretary say?
Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar admitted that the tender process was cancelled. The cost of the railway plot is Rs 800 crore and as the plot was purchased after the tender process, it was necessary to seek a legal opinion. The Advocate General has said that the purchase of railway plots could cast doubt on the validity of the tender. Accordingly, the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority has been directed to cancel the tender process and issue a re-tender, the Chief Secretary added.