Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s real estate unit, Adani Enterprises, has won the rights to redevelop India’s largest slum, Mumbai’s Dharavi district, with a bid of 50 billion rupees ($612 million), a a state official said Tuesday.
Considered the largest slum in Asia, Dharavi is a crowded area that houses thousands of poor families in cramped neighborhoods 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 who live 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, CEO of the redevelopment project of Dharavi, a government enterprise in the western state of Maharashtra.
“It will be a township – 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 program in the world”. ”
It is the latest megaproject to be undertaken by port-energy conglomerate Adani Enterprises, which already supplies power to Mumbai through the listed unit Adani Transmission Ltd.
Another group project, a $900 million port redevelopment in the state of Kerala, has been blocked for months by protesters. There have been no major protests to date against Dharavi’s redevelopment.
Adani Enterprises announced last week that it will raise 200 billion Indian rupees ($2.45 billion) in India’s largest follow-up public offering of new shares as it expands aggressively into sectors such as cement and healthcare, amid some concerns over its high level of debt.
The Dharavi redevelopment will be the fourth project Adani Realty has undertaken in Mumbai and the 24th in 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 a renewable energy transition bid.
A spokesperson for Adani Group did not respond to a request for comment on Dharavi’s offer.