Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s real estate arm Adani Enterprises has won the right to redevelop India’s largest slum, Mumbai’s Dharavi district, with a 50 billion rupee ($612 million) bid, a government official said on Tuesday.
Considered Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi is a crowded area that houses thousands of poor families in cramped quarters in the center of India’s financial capital. Many residents do not have access to running water or clean toilets.
Redevelopment was first mooted in the 1980s as a way to develop valuable land while providing adequate housing for those living there.
Adani’s winning bid of 50 billion rupees was more than double that of real estate group DLF, which offered 20 billion rupees ($244.87 million), said SVR Srinivas, chief executive of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, a government enterprise in the western state of Maharashtra.
“It will be a settlement – a city within a city, with mixed land use, both commercial and residential,” Srinivas told Reuters, describing the redevelopment, which will cover 625 acres (253 hectares) as “the largest urban renewal scheme in the world”. ”
This is the latest mega project undertaken by port power conglomerate Adani Enterprises, which already supplies electricity to Mumbai through leaf unit Adani Transmission Ltd.
Another group project, the $900 million port redevelopment in Kerala state, was stalled for months by protesters. So far, there have been no major protests against the redevelopment of Dharavi.
Last week, Adani Enterprises said it would raise 200 billion Indian rupees ($2.45 billion) in India’s largest follow-on initial public offering as it aggressively expands into sectors such as cement and healthcare, amid some concerns about their high levels of debt.
The Dharavi redevelopment will be the fourth project Adani Realty has undertaken in Mumbai and the 24th across four cities, according to its website.
Earlier this year, chairman Gautam Adani said the Adani Group would invest more than $100 billion over the next decade, most of it as part of an effort to shift to renewable energy.
A spokesperson for the Adani group did not respond to a request for comment on the Dharavi bid.