Seclink, the Dubai-based infrastructure company, has bagged the project to redevelop Asia’s largest slum settlement, Dharavi, in Mumbai. On Wednesday, an empowered committee of secretaries, under Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, accepted the group’s bid to redevelop the 2.40 sq km sprawl, which sits on a prime land in the heart of Mumbai and is home to over 60,000 families.
According to the company’s website, it is backed by the “royal family office of the Middle East” and is building infrastructure and affordable housing projects in Singapore and Dubai.
Following the empowered committee’s nod, senior state officials said that an MoU will soon be executed between the state government, the Dharavi Redevelopment Project Authority (DRPA) and the company.
With an estimated cost of over Rs 26,000 crore, the Dharavi makeover project is the biggest brownfield redevelopment project in India, said officials. To make the redevelopment economically viable, the state government’s plan involves transforming the region into a hub for commercial and business activity. It must be noted that Dharavi is barely a stone’s throw away from the Bandra Kurla Complex, which is India’s richest business district.
According to initial estimates, the project can yield about 5 crore sq ft of saleable space, most of which is planned for commercial exploitation. The company, said sources, had quoted a total investment worth Rs 7,200 crore for the project, while the only other bidder, the Adani Group, had quoted Rs 4,539 crore. “Seclink’s bid has been finalised.
An official announcement in this regard will soon be made,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Housing) Sanjay Kumar, also a member of the empowered committee.
In a deviation from failed makeover attempts in the past, the Devendra Fadnavis government, which sanctioned a new plan last November, has decided to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) involving the company and the DRPA for the redevelopment project. It has also extended several concessions and sops, including exemptions from payment of GST on all material except raw cement and stamp duty among others. The state’s revenue and finance department had earlier opposed the concessions being offered.
On setting up of the SPV, the private firm will have to bring in an equity of Rs 400 crore, while the state government will invest another Rs 100 crore. The Dharavi revamp, first conceptualised in 2004, has been on the agenda of every political party.