Experts divided over fate of the city’s most ambitious redevelopment project, won by the battered group just a few weeks before its stock began to slide
One view is to divide the project into smaller components. File Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
AMID the financial debacle of the Adani Group, the Dharavi slum redevelopment has become a topic of discussion for real estate experts. While some say that the redevelopment will be adversely affected, others feel that the project is too complicated and would take over a decade to become a reality. Adani Realty was the top bidder and had won the 259-hectare Dharavi cluster redevelopment work in November 2022 for an initial investment of Rs 5,069 crore for the over Rs 20,000-crore redevelopment work.
The construction work, as per media reports, would start from October 2023, after the commencement certificate is issued, on approval of the master plan for the redevelopment and rehabilitation prepared by Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). State government officials overseeing Dharavi redevelopment work refused to comment on the issue. Attempts to contact SVR Srinivas, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) did not yield results.
Wait and watch
Pankaj Kapoor, founder and managing director, Liases Foras, Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt Ltd, said, “As far as cash flow is concerned, I do not see any impact on Adani Realty as the project would prolong for over a decade. If Adani promoters overcome the current crises, I do not see any adversity in the Dharavi redevelopment.”
The state government had approved an action plan for the redevelopment of Dharavi through a Government Resolution in 2004. File Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
“Having said that, the Dharavi cluster redevelopment work is a jinxed project. Over a period of time, some intrinsic or financial issues have cropped up, stalling the work. However, the present government seems positive in implementing projects unlike the earlier government and they are focused on both setting up infrastructures and for cluster development, which is the need of the hour,” he concluded.
Also Read: Dharavi redevelopment: Existing industrial units to get more space, says Devendra Fadnavis
Let’s be optimistic
Ramesh Prabhu, founder chairman of Maharashtra Welfare Societies Association (MahaSEWA) said, “Since the project was awarded to Adani Realty, all were hopeful that it would be completed in a few years in a phased manner. While the allegations of financial irregularities and the resultant reduction in share prices have put the project in doubt, I feel the Adani Group will overcome this. In a few months, they will overcome the crisis and the redevelopment will take place, we need to be optimistic.”
“With Adani Group’s shares registering a free fall in the stock market, the Dharavi redevelopment project would be the biggest casualty. If the tender conditions — such as deposit of Earnest Money Deposit — are not adhered to by the Adani Group, then the state government should reconsider the redevelopment by Adani Realty. The people of Dharavi cannot be made to suffer and wait indefinitely. Decent housing for all as per the prime minister’s vision should be made a reality at the earliest,” said Advocate Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, the Watchdog Foundation.
“The state government had approved an action plan for the implementation of Dharavi’s redevelopment through a Government Resolution in 2004. It is regretful that in the over 18 years since the notification, issues have kept cropping up, making it a jinxed project. The government should divide the project into several components and award them to different firms rather than a single one for speedier redevelopment,” explained Pimenta.
Advocate Vinod Sampat, founder president, Flat Users Residents Welfare Association, said, “In all probability, considering the erosion of faith in the Adani Group, people would think twice before entering a project by them, at least in the short run. Considering the upcoming elections, the government’s priority would be to start the redevelopment. Even the residents would like their quality of life to be improved. Looking at Adani Group’s financial position, it appears that the yet-to-start project is likely to get delayed for quite some time.
“From Adani Group’s point of view, the project may not be an immediate priority as it has not begun. This obviously will lead to hardships for the common man, specifically for those residing and having offices in Dharavi, and for urban planners. The development of the Metro would also have to take a backseat in Dharavi. Since the project has not commenced, expenses like rent, shifting etc., are not there. Otherwise, greater hardships would have been caused to the residents,” Sampat concluded.
Pankaj Kapoor, founder and MD, Liases Foras, Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt Ltd
‘As far as cash flow is concerned, I do not see any impact on Adani Realty as the project would prolong for over a decade. If Adani promoters overcome the current crises, I do not see any adversity in the Dharavi redevelopment’
Godfrey Pimenta, advocate and trustee of the Watchdog Foundation
‘If the tender conditions are not adhered to by the Adani Group, then the state government should reconsider the redevelopment by Adani Realty. The people of Dharavi cannot be made to suffer and wait indefinitely’