In a surprising move, Devendra Fadnavis, former Housing Minister of Maharashtra, approved the Adani Group’s takeover of the Dharavi redevelopment project, a massive undertaking involving 600 acres of prime land in Mumbai. Fadnavis’ decision, made just before handing over the department, has sparked controversy due to allegations of favoritism and questionable tender conditions.
Congress leader and media chief Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter and stated that the original tender for the Dharavi redevelopment project had been awarded to a different bidder. However, after a dispute led to its cancellation, the Shinde-Fadnavis government allegedly modified the tender conditions to favour the Adani Group. He has levelled same allegations previously.
Key changes included raising the minimum net worth required to win the bid and allowing payment in installments, which benefitted the cash-strapped Adani Group and excluded the previous winner.
Despite objections from officers of the Urban Development Department, a Government Resolution was issued, granting permissions for the sale of Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) without indexing the pricing, he said.
Additionally, the resolution mandated a 50% purchase of TDRs from the Dharavi Special Purpose Vehicle, ensuring significant funding for Adani. Critics argue that this deal provides the Adani Group with a substantial financial advantage, saving them from investing their own capital into the project.
This controversial decision has further fueled allegations of cronyism against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with critics claiming that state governments have been reduced to acting as ATM machines for his close associates. The concerns extend beyond financial matters, as the livelihoods and land of Mumbai’s slum-dwellers are also at stake.
“This is yet another example of how PM Modi has reduced his state governments to ATM machines for his cronies. Even the land and livelihoods of Mumbai’s slum-dwellers won’t be spared by the Modani MegaScam,” Jairam Ramesh stated in his tweet.