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Scores of residents of Dharavi and members of various political parties on Thursday held a protest demonstration in Mumbai against billionaire Gautam Adani for Dharavi Slum Rehabilitation Project
The Maharashtra Government in July this year formally awarded the Dharavi Redevelopment project to one of the Adani Group of companies. The project is expected to be one of the largest redevelopment initiatives in the country.
Adani Properties, a subsidiary of the Adani Group, in November last year secured the winning bid for the project offering an investment of Rs 5,069 crore for the redevelopment of the 259-hectare slum area
According to the government resolution released by the Housing Development Department of Maharashtra on Friday, as per the report, the state cabinet approved the bidding outcome on December 22, 2022, leading to the awarding of rights to Adani Properties. As part of the project, a special-purpose vehicle will be formed, with Adani Properties as the lead partner
The entire project aims to rehabilitate 6.5 lakh (650,000) slum dwellers residing in an area spanning over 2.5 square kilometers, with a total timeline of seven years, the report said. Adding that the winning bidder, Adani Properties, will have the opportunity to generate substantial revenue by selling residential and commercial spaces in central Mumbai
The Dharavi Redevelopment project has faced delays and uncertainties over the years. In October last year, a pre-bid meeting was attended by eight bidders, including entities from South Korea and the UAE. Ultimately, three bidders submitted their bids for the project, namely Adani Realty, DLF, and Naman Group. The government had set a minimum requirement of a consolidated net worth of Rs 20,000 crore to select the winning bid
The responsibility of the winning bidder includes rehabilitation, renewal, and the development of amenities and infrastructure components. Adani Group's realty arm has already executed or is in the process of completing projects in Mumbai, including one in Ghatkopar and another in Byculla
Congress has alleged that BJP state governments have been reduced to ATM machines for his cronies. Party's general secretary Jairam Ramesh has said "Devendra Fadnavis’ last act before handing over the housing department on Friday was to formally approve the Adani Group’s shady takeover of the Rs 5,069 crore Dharavi redevelopment project, which involves 600 acres of prime Mumbai land. It had originally been awarded to a different bidder."
"After the original tender was cancelled due to a dispute, the Shinde-Fadnavis government performed amazing acrobatics to change the tender conditions to ensure that PM Modi’s closest friend was the only feasible winner. This included raising the minimum net worth needed to win the bid from Rs 10,000 cr to Rs 20,000 cr to exclude the previous winner and to allow payment in installments that eased the path for the cash-strapped Adani Group," Congress general secretary added.
In 2004, the Maharashtra state government had envisaged Dharavi to be transformed into a cluster of high-rises with improved urban infrastructure. The project included relocating 68,000 people, including slum dwellers and those with commercial establishments. The state was to provide 300 sq ft houses for free to residents with proof that their slum structure was in existence before January 1, 2000, and for a price to those who settled in Dharavi between 2000 and 2011.
In 2011, the government cancelled all tenders and developed a master plan. In 2018, the BJP-Sena government formed a special-purpose vehicle for Dharavi and notified it of the redevelopment project. Later, global tenders were invited
During the annual general meeting of the Adani Group, Gautam Adani, the chairman, fondly recalled his initial encounter with Dharavi in the late 1970s. He was enthralled by the diverse blend of cultures and languages from all corners of India. Adani emphasized his dedication to providing new residences for eligible residents while also ensuring that the essence and vitality of Dharavi remain intact throughout the redevelopment process. Furthermore, he noted that once the transformation is complete, visitors like former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, who had expressed an interest in visiting Dharavi, will discover that the neighborhood retains its spirited and lively character, just as it has always been.