SVR Srinivas
SVR Srinivas

Demonetisation, Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA), and Goods and Services Tax (GST) have affected the state government’s pet project: The redevelopment of Dharavi, to the extent that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had to meet developers to convince them to take an interest in it.

After the project was planned, not only was it criticised and opposed by locals, it also failed to attract realtors to redevelop one of the biggest slums in Asia. In the plan, the area was divided into five sectors, and it was decided that one sector would be developed by Mhada. But, despite this division, there was no development in the project, which has been stuck for more than 10 years.

According to a recent plan for the project, officials wanted to involve communities with competitive bidding from the developers, but there has been no decision on this, and the authorities are looking for another scheme to attract bidders. The last time bids were opened, there was no response, despite successful pre-bid meetings.

A source involved with the project said, "Even the CM met the developers and they pointed out that several factors, such as the newly-implemented RERA and GST are difficult to understand, and that they are facing a cash crunch due to demonetisation. They claimed they are finding it difficult to handle ongoing projects, let alone take on new ones. The CM met them about a month ago and tried to convince them. But only after a new scheme is decided and put forth for the bidding process, will we know whether the meeting was successful."

Despite repeated attempts, SVR Srinivas, head of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, was not available for comment.