Adani group’s joint venture with Mumbai’s slum rehabilitation authority has tapped a global team of experts to redevelop Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums, amid growing opposition to the project.
The Dharavi Redevelopment Project Pvt. Ltd (DRPPL) is partnering with architect Hafeez Contractor, US design firm Sasaki, and UK-based consultancy firm Buro Happold.
Dharavi, a densely populated neighborhood in the heart of India’s financial hub, is home to thousands of impoverished families living in tight spaces, with many lacking access to running water and clean sanitation facilities. The slum had featured in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire.
The Maharashtra state government had approved Adani’s $619 million bid to redevelop Dharavi slums spread over 625 acres, or 253 hectares, in July, following which, DRPPL was set up.
The hiring of the international team comes amid allegations from a rival bidder that Adani was afforded favorable treatment, even as residents are wary of his capacity to deliver amid financial setbacks.
Adani Group, in a statement last month, said it was awarded the tender following a free, open, and internationally competitive bidding process. The state government, too, has denied any wrongdoing.
The Dharavi redevelopment project, described as the world’s largest urban renewal scheme, has been discussed for several decades, and the idea of redevelopment first surfaced in the 1980s.
Adani’s DRPPL said in a statement last month that the group’s financial conditions, including obligations and incentives, were known to all bidders and had stayed the same for the awardee.
The Adani Group plans to replace what it refers to in legal filings as an “unhygienic, deplorable” area with new towers on government-owned property.
This redevelopment aims to provide space for both residents and their businesses.
Consultancy firm Liases Foras last year said Adani’s investment in transforming Dharavi could reach $12 billion, potentially generating returns of up to $24 billion from development rights.
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