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Dharavi Redevelopment Project may face further delays as bidder demands meeting with CM


Dharavi Redevelopment Project may face further delays as bidder demands meeting with CM
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UAE-based SecLink Technologies Corporation which was recently given the contract for the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) has alleged that there may be a government conspiracy involved to derail its work on the project. 

Recently, the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) who awarded the contract to SecLink referred its proposal to State Advocate General Avinash Kumbhakoni. Following this, the Advocate General recommended calling fresh bids for the DRP, which clearly hasn’t gone down well with the contractor.

SecLink questions whether the CoS presented the entire situation accurately, and if it mentioned that the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Railways pertaining to land acquisition was delayed. 

“If CoS had no intention to follow the timelines, such wrong commitments should not have been given in Global Tender where money in the form of Letter of Credit (LoC) has been arranged at a huge opportunity cost and is being kept reserved for this project,” a SecLink official said.

The company added that no company would allocate $4 billion knowing that the project would be delayed and that this could seriously hurt the government’s credibility among foreign investors “especially in current testing times when the government is facing an economic slump,” SecLink said. 

To resolve this matter, SecLink has asked for a meeting with all the stakeholders as well as representatives of Dharavi residents along with Urban Development and Housing authorities. The group is also said to be seeking a meeting with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray to understand the reasons behind the delay. SecLink also asked for the Letter of Award (LoA) to be sent immediately. 

The proposed redevelopment plan in Dharavi also includes tenements for slum dwellers. Authorities have mentioned that dwellers will receive housing of up to 350 sq ft although the locals are reportedly demanding a 500 sq ft establishment. Given the additional hurdles the DRP has to go through, it may be some time yet until this massive project is completed. 

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