(Bloomberg) — Adani Group, controlled by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, has made the highest bid on an ambitious project to redevelop the world’s largest slum.
Adani offered 50.7 billion rupees ($620 million), while nearest rival DLF Ltd. quoted 20.25 billion rupees, SVR Srinivas, metropolitan commissioner at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, said by phone. The Dharavi slum stretches over about 620 acres and is sandwiched between the city’s new financial district and its main airport, although it is not yet clear how much land the winning bidder could acquire.
“This is one of the largest urban renewal projects in the world, the best of the abandoned projects,” Srinivas said. “There are many complexities, from class to religion and ethnicity; it is a maze we must look through.
With a population of 1 million, Dharavi is densely packed, with about 80 people sharing one public toilet. It is about 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) from Mumbai’s key business district, home to India’s largest stock exchange and the local headquarters of JPMorgan Chase & Co., yet its residents are mostly migrant workers from villages thousands of kilometers away who work for a daily wage.
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Before the pandemic, Dharavi generated more than $1 billion a year in activity, providing a base for industries from pottery and leather tanning to recycling and the clothing trade.
Representatives of Adani and DLF declined to comment.
“With this, Mumbai’s real estate sector is poised for tremendous momentum,” said Abhimanyu Kasliwal, analyst at Choice Equity Broking Pvt. “Just as the cement sector was revalued after Adani’s entry, we can expect the same for real estate.”
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