Adani Group wins tender for Dharavi redevelopment: what is the long-delayed project?

By | November 30, 2022

Confirming the development, SVR Srinivas, Executive Director of Dharavi Redevelopment Project, told The Indian Express, “Adani group quoted Rs 5,069 crore for this project followed by Rs 2,025 crore quoted by DLF group. Only Adani and DLF qualified in the final bid. The third, Naman Group, failed.”

Adani Group had lost a bid for the project in January 2019.

The Dharavi redevelopment project has been stalled for nearly two decades. Dharavi, considered one of the biggest slums in the world, is built on real estate gold. Its redevelopment will involve a massive investment of up-front cash, amid the complicated complications of land acquisition and rehabilitation. Here’s what the project entails and why it was delayed for so long.

What is the Dharavi Redevelopment Project?

Dharavi is just steps away from India’s richest business district, the Bandra-Kurla Complex, where commercial office premiums are among the highest in the country.

The sprawling favela, spread over 2.8 square kilometers, is home to an informal leather and ceramics industry that employs over a million people. As reported by The Indian Express previously, the state government had envisaged that this expansion would be transformed into a cluster of skyscrapers with improved urban infrastructure. It involved the resettlement of 68,000 people, including residents of favelas and commercial establishments.

The state would provide 300-square-foot homes free of charge to residents with proof that their slum structure existed before 1 January 2000 and for a price to those who settled in Dharavi between 2000 and 2011.

When was the project first proposed?

In 1999, the BJP-Sena government first proposed rebuilding Dharavi. Subsequently, the government of Maharashtra in 2003-04 decided to rebuild Dharavi as an integrated planned township, and an action plan for this was approved.

It was decided to develop Dharavi using land as a resource to subsidize the cost of development through a sale component based on the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme. It would be divided into sectors and developers assigned to them. The government also decided to notify Dharavi as an underdeveloped area and appoint a Special Planning Authority for its development.

In 2011, the government canceled all tenders and drew up a master plan.

In 2018, the BJP-Sena government formed a special purpose vehicle for Dharavi and notified it for the redevelopment project. Later, global tenders were invited.

Adani’s defeat in 2019

Although Dubai-based infrastructure company Seclink Technologies Corporation was a successful bidder in January 2019 against Adani, the bid was not awarded following the decision to include the Railway’s land in the redevelopment project.

By 2020, Maharashtra’s government had changed, and in October of that year,

the government of Maharshtra Vikas Aghadi, led by Uddhav Thackrey, canceled the tender and said that new tenders would be launched soon. The MVA government claimed that one of the reasons for canceling the tender was the Center’s delay in transferring vital railroad land to the project.

After the government changed again with Eknath Shinde taking over as CM, the issue of transferring land from the Center was considered resolved and new tenders were invited.

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