Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s Adani Enterprises, the real estate unit of Adani’s, has won the bid of $612 million to redevelop India’s largest slum, Dharavi, which is located in the capital of India’s western state of Maharashtra, Mumbai, a state official said on Tuesday.
Dharavi, considered Asia’s largest slum, is a hugely populated area that is home to thousands of poor families living in confined spaces right at the heart of India’s financial capital. The situation is such that more than half of the residents have no access to clean water and health facilities.
The first mention of the redevelopment plan was made in the 1980s to bring the valuable land to good use and provide proper housing to those living there.
Adani got the deal as the bid of $612 million was more than double the $244.87 million bid of real estate group DLF, said SVR Srinivas, CEO of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, a government enterprise in the western state of Maharashtra.
Talking to Reuters, the British news agency, about the project, Srinivas said, “It will be a township – a city within a city, with mixed land use, both commercial and residential.” He added that the redevelopment will cover 253 hectares and called it “the world’s largest urban renewal scheme.”
The ports-to-energy giant Adani Enterprises, which already provides electricity in Mumbai through the listed unit Adani Transmission Ltd, has taken on this megaproject as its most recent undertaking.
While there has been no huge protest so far against the redevelopment plan of Dharavi, another project worth $900 million of a port redevelopment in the southern Indian state of Kerala has been on hold for many months due to protests.
Adani Enterprises announced the previous that it would raise $2.45 billion in India’s largest subsequent stock offering of new shares as it rigorously spreads into sectors such as cement and healthcare, amid concerns regarding its high debt levels.
For Adani Realty, the redevelopment of Dharavi will be its fourth project in Mumbai while it will be its 24th considering four cities across India, as mentioned on its website.
Early this year, chairman Gautam Adani announced that his company would invest more than $100 billion in the next 10 years period, the majority of which would be a section of the bid to transition to renewable energy.