The new tender launched in 2022 for the Dharavi slum redevelopment project in Mumbai was transparent and no undue favors were given to the Adani Group, the highest bidder, the Maharashtra government submitted to the High Court of Mumbai.
The government submitted its affidavit earlier this month in response to a petition filed by UAE-based Seclink Technologies Corporation challenging the government’s decision awarding the project to Adani Properties Private Ltd.
“The Petitioner has made unfounded and reckless allegations that the actions of the Respondents are politically motivated, without any basis or material evidence, as indeed none exists. For making such reckless allegations alone, the motion in brief deserves to be dismissed with costs,” the affidavit reads.
A divisional bench consisting of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor will hear the plea on Thursday.
The affidavit filed by the Deputy Secretary of the National Housing Department states that the applicant company made “false and baseless accusations that the cancellation of the old tender was politically motivated” and these allegations are denied.
“I say that the cancellation of the bidding process was conducted after following proper procedure. I further deny that the re-bidding was issued to favor Respondent #3 (Adani). I say that the new tender process was conducted in an absolutely transparent manner and in fact the new tender attracted more bidders than those who had participated in the old tender” , says the affidavit.
The allegations made by the petitioner are outlandish and implausible, the statement added.
The government has said the Dharavi redevelopment process is an extremely vital public benefit project that will change the lives of thousands of people currently living in squalid and disrespectful conditions.
“Any attempts by people to derail this redevelopment project must be thwarted, as any continuation of such projects would seriously impede the execution of the redevelopment project (which is of vital public importance),” he said. declared.
Adani Group had become the highest bidder for the 259-hectare Dharavi redevelopment project and won it with its bid of Rs 5,069 crore in the 2022 bidding process.
During the first tender launched in 2018, the applicant company had become the highest bidder with its offer of Rs 7,200 crore.
The government’s decision to cancel the 2018 tender and launch a new tender in 2022 with additional conditions was challenged before the HC by Seclink Technologies Corporation.
The government, in a previous affidavit filed in February this year, said that the 2018 tender was canceled and a new tender was issued in 2022 due to several factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, which affected the financial and economic situation. .
In July, the petitioning company amended its plea to challenge the government resolution that awarded the slum upgrading project to the Adani Group.
The government in its affidavit further claimed that the new tender takes into account the rehabilitation and re-housing even of the ineligible people (around 7 lakh), thus making the whole redevelopment process more inclusive and complex.
According to the government, in the old tender, ineligible slums were not eligible for rehabilitation and they could have approached the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna nodal agency.
The new tender postulates to accommodate non-eligible slums for which appropriate provision is made, he said.
“Under the new tender, the selected bidder will also be required to house the non-eligible slums in affordable housing or under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and, quite rightly, such a requirement was not in the tender. old tender from 2018,” the affidavit reads.
The petitioner was not permitted “to question the propriety of the bidding conditions as they are solely within the realm of authority,” the affidavit further states.
The government said the new tender had been issued with revised terms and conditions in good faith and on a sound basis after gaining approval from the Committee of Secretaries and the Cabinet.
“There is no question of excluding the participation of anyone, because the tenders had to be resubmitted and the petitioner could also have submitted a tender respecting the terms and conditions of the new tender”, specifies he.
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