MUMBAI: One of Mumbai’s biggest redevelopment projects aimed at rehabilitating thousands of families from the nearly century-old BDD chawls in central Mumbai, has landed in court. ACC India Pvt Ltd, a construction company, has approached the Bombay high court to challenge the validity of the Rs 11,000-crore project being awarded to a Tata-led consortium.
The petitioner, a subsidiary of Arabian Construction Company SAL registered in Lebanon, challenged as ‘illegal and arbitrary’, the actions of the state government and Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) in selecting the consortium of Capacit’e Infraprojects Ltd, Tata Projects Ltd and Citic Construction Company of China. The petition, which came up in court last week, said the challenge is because of ‘clear proof’ that the winning bidders ‘do not fulfil the eligibility criteria of having technical capacity and experience to undertake the project’.
The HC bench of Justices SS Kemkar and Nitin Sambre wanted ACC India, the lead bidder in its consortium, to implead its consortium partners as parties, which the company sought time for. The matter is to be heard on July 23 by a bench of Justices R M Borde and V M Deshpande.
The British had developed the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls in the 1920s as low-cost housing. There are 207 of these across 37 hectares in Worli, N M Joshi Marg, Naigaon and Sewri where over 12,000 families reside in 160 sq ft room. The project involves rehabilitation of 121 BBD chawls with 9,680 tenements at Worli. It involves construction of 87 rehabilitation buildings, each 24-storey high with three basements, and 10 free-sale towers of 66 habitable floors and eight podium parking levels each. The project will take at least a decade and will be worked on in eight phases. The entire construction will be of 24 lakh sq m .
Last April, the state and Mhada had floated an e-tender to select a contractor for the BDD chawl redevelopment project. The eligibility involved having experience in highrise construction. In February 2018, three bidders were declared eligible on technical qualification front too, including the Tata-led consortium, which eventually won the bid in May.
The petition claimed that one project cited by one of the firms of the winning consortium still had the status of ‘on-going’ on RERA website on July 8. ACC said in June, it had sought documents, under the Right to Information Act, from the state and Mhada for details on which the bidders were selected. The eligibility conditions required the bidders to have completed at least one building of height not less than 175m and of constructing at least three structures that are a minimum 70m tall.