The Maharashtra government’s plan to redevelop Asia’s largest slum Dharavi spread over 240 hectare land in the heart of country’s commercial capital is commendable. But, clearly the efforts are falling short to attract interest and kick-start this massive project stuck for more than a decade.
In the week gone by, owing to zero response for the project, the state government had to postpone the submission deadline for developers’ bids for the second time in the last 20 days. This was certainly not a good news for around 60,000 families waiting to be rehabilitated and Mumbai waiting for better infrastructure in the most central part of the city.
This is the second attempt by the state government to kick start the redevelopment of Dharavi abutting business district Bandra-Kurla Complex. In its first effort in 2007, government had received around 14 developers’ responses at Expressions of Interest stage. However, seven out of these interested entities later backed out and the bids were cancelled altogether in 2011.
Despite floating global tenders, not a single international entity has come forward to participate in the project.
Why is it so difficult to attract developers’ interest for a project that has great revenue potential for them too? It’s clear that the government will have to make it viable for them to execute the project by working on conditions that are being seen as a hurdle.
While it’s understood that this will be a big project and entities with strong experience and capability can only execute the same, we have to ensure that they come forward to undertake this.
Also, why can’t government be a partner in this project, which is anyway expected to be a public-private partnership work, rather than just being a sanctioning authority? Especially, when we know that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) is already redeveloping fifth sector of Dharavi.
Dharavi presents a fantastic opportunity to be developed into a world-class project. Given the best location, it can be home to another business hub comprising of office, retail and hospitality elements. However, the plan needs a push from the policymakers with not just vote-bank politics in mind. So the intentions are right, we will have to make it work. As they say, where there’s a will, there’s way!!
Credits ET Realty