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‘Dharavi tender was finalised transparently when MVA govt was in power’: Adani group responds to Uddhav Thackeray’s allegations against the redevelopment project

"It is unfortunate that a concerted effort is being made to disseminate misinformation about certain aspects of the project," a press release issued by Adani Group said after Uddhav Thackeray launched a protest against the project

On 16th December (Saturday), Adani Group released a press statement asserting that the project for the redevelopment of the Dharavi slum in Mumbai was awarded to the Adani Group through a fair, open, and internationally competitive bidding process. The group highlighted that the tender conditions were finalised when the MVA government was in power.

The official response from the company came in the backdrop that Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and former Maharashtra CM  Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday led a protest march of the party, alleging favour to Adani Group in connection with the Dharavi redevelopment project.

“It is unfortunate that a concerted effort is being made to disseminate misinformation about certain aspects of the project,” the press release said.

In its statement, the group noted, “The finalised conditions, including the obligations and incentives, which were known to all the bidders, have not been changed for the awardee post the tendering process. Hence, it is wrong to claim that any special benefits have been given to the awardee.” 

The group reiterated that all eligible tenement holders will be moved into their new homes in Dharavi itself. As per the tender conditions, even ineligible tenement holders will be provided accommodation under the Rental Housing Policy. The tender provisions also ensure that eligible residential tenements will receive 17% more area than other SRA projects in Mumbai, the statement added.

Meanwhile, addressing the protesters, Uddhav Thackeray alleged that the redevelopment project involves TDR irregularities worth more than Rs 100 crore, which is the “biggest scam in the world”. Leading the march from Dharavi to Adani office in Bandra, the former CM demanded that the government should redevelop the slum, not the Adani Group, and Dharavi residents should get the houses they deserve.

Regarding the TDR allegations, the Adani group stressed that the resettlement of Dharavikars is not affected by Transferable Development Rights (TDR). Also, the TDR from the project will be managed and monitored transparently through a specially created portal by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and the Government of Maharashtra, the group added in its press release.

CM Eknath Shinde also countered Uddhav Thackeray for his opposition to the project, saying that when Uddhav Thackeray became the CM under the MVA alliance, he had stalled many projects started by the earlier BJP-Shiv Sena government, which had impeded the development of the state.

Notably, in July, the Maharashtra government officially awarded the Dharavi Redevelopment project, spanning 259 hectares, to an Adani group firm.

The Maharashtra government has entered into a 99-year lease agreement with the Indian Railways and then it will be sub-leased on 30 years+30 years basis like any other government land in Mumbai to the housing societies. There is no change in this policy for the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, the release added.

The official release has been issued through the Spokesperson of Dharavi Redevelopment Project Private Ltd (DRPPL). In the statement, the Spokesperson added, “There is a general consensus, not only in Mumbai and Maharashtra but also across the whole of India, for transforming Dharavi and providing the people of Dharavi with better living conditions, adequate hygiene, education, and vocational training, healthcare, employment opportunities, essential amenities and a life of dignity.”

The DRPPL stressed that the Dharavi project assumes added significance because many earlier attempts have failed to deliver. 

“There is no gainsaying the fact that a transformational project like Dharavi needs support from all stakeholders, including from political parties cutting across ideologies and differences. This is a historic opportunity to build a new, state-of-the-art Dharavi which reflects the hopes and aspirations of Dharavikars,” the press release further added. 

It is important to note that in August 2023, the Maharashtra government filed an affidavit regarding the project in the Bombay High Court. The affidavit stated that the tender process for the Dharavi redevelopment project was “absolutely transparent” and “no undue favour” was given to the highest bidder, Adani Group.

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