THE DHARAVI redevelopment project is likely to be delayed further after a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) Thursday decided to scrap an existing tender and float a new one.
The first tender for the redevelopment project was awarded to Dubai-based infrastructure firm Seclink Technologies Corporation in January last year, but it was stalled over the acquisition of a plot of railway land in Matunga.
On Friday, State Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar confirmed the cancellation of the tender. “We have directed the Dharavi Redevelopment Project Authority to call for a fresh tender,” said Kumar.
Besides Kumar, Urban development secretary Bhusan Gagrani, MMRDA commissioner RA Rajeev, BMC commissioner I S Chahal and Principal Advisor to the chief minister Ajoy Mehta, were present at the CoS meeting Thursday.
Seclink chairman Nilang Shah said he will challenge the state government’s decision to cancel the tender in the courts. “The reasons that have been given for cancelling the tender are an afterthought as there was agreement right from the pre-bid stage on how the land deal would be worked out. Moreover, the decision to keep this project in abeyance has cost us bank guarantees of nearly Rs 3,100 crore over the last two years,” Shah said.
He added the firm was yet to received an official communication on the cancellation of the tender.
In November 2018, then Devendra Fadnavis government had approved a new model for the slum’s redevelopment.
In the global bidding process that followed, Seclink Technologies Corporation (STC) had emerged the top bidder, having committed to an upfront capital investment of Rs 7,100 crore for the Rs 26,000-crore revamp plan.
On March 8 last year, the Dharavi Redevelopment Project Authority, a state-run special purpose vehicle, had issued a Letter of Intimation (LOI) recognising STC as the top bidder and declared the government’s intention of awarding the contract to the firm. But there has been little progress since then with the government seeking legal opinion on whether the tendering process itself had been vitiated over the acquisition of 45 acres of railway land in Matunga. The only other bidder in the tender was the Adani Group.
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