Billionaire Gautam Adani’s joint venture with Mumbai’s slum rehabilitation authority has enlisted a global team for the planned revamp of Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums.
What Happened: The joint venture, Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRPPL), on Monday announced its collaboration with architect Hafeez Contractor, who is known for numerous social housing projects, Reuters reported. The joint venture has also hired U.S. design firm Sasaki and U.K. consultancy firm Buro Happold for the ambitious redevelopment.
Dharavi, a densely populated area that accommodates thousands of underprivileged families in the heart of India’s financial capital, lacks basic amenities like running water and clean toilets.
Why It Matters: Rebuilding Dharavi, a colossal undertaking first proposed in the 1980s, gained momentum in July when the Maharashtra state government approved Adani’s $619 million bid (5,151 crore) proposal for the redevelopment project, spanning 625 acres (253 hectares). Described as “the world’s largest urban renewal scheme,” the initiative has faced growing political opposition.
Established in July, DRPPL’s decision to engage a global team is significant amid allegations from a rival bidder regarding favourable treatment for Adani by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allies. Concerns have also emerged about Adani’s ability to deliver on the project following notable financial setbacks.
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The Adani group maintains that the Dharavi project was secured through a fair, open, and internationally competitive bidding process. The state government has refuted any allegations of impropriety.
Last month, thousands of protesters marched towards Adani’s Mumbai offices, expressing opposition to the conglomerate’s redevelopment plans.
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