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No land transfer to SPV or Adani group in Dharavi slum redevelopment project: Sources

Mumbai (Maharashtra): The world's largest slum redevelopment project involves no land transfer to Special Purpose Vehicle created for the project (SPV) or to the Adani group.

Sources close to the project told ANI that land transfer will be done to Dharavi Redevelopment Project/slum rehabilitation authority (DRP/SRA) which is part of Maharashtra government housing department.

According to the tender documents, DRPPL will pay for the land in lieu of development rights and build facilities like housing, commercials and handover back to the Maharashtra government DRP for allotments as per government schemes. This arrangement ensures that the land remains under government control throughout the process.

The state support agreement which is part of the tender, clearly states that government of Maharashtra has obligation to provide land to their own DRP/SRA department

The Rs 23,000 crore slum redevelopment project comes under controversy after questions were raised on the project to benefit Adani Group.

In a 15th June news report by The Hindustan Times, newly elected Congress MP Varsha Gaikward questioned government land transfer to Adani for the project "Earlier, the Mulund land was sought for the project. Then, the government allocated salt pan lands in Mumbai for the project. They also want Deonar land now, the government issued an order to hand over the land at Kurla. Why does the government want to transfer so much land to Adani?" said Gaikward.

However, DRPPL sources clarified that the railway land allocated to the DRP was acquired by DRPPL at a premium of 170 per cent above the prevailing market rates.

On concerns about the allocation of land across Mumbai to Adani when residents of Dharavi prefer in-situ rehabilitation (simple technique of rehabilitation which provides pucca dwelling units with basic civil infrastructure to improve the quality of life and safe living).

Sources clarified that the tender norms and government resolutions from 2018 and 2022, have specifically assured that no Dharavi resident will be displaced.

Residents with tenements existing on or before January 1, 2000, are eligible for in-situ rehabilitation within Dharavi.

Those with tenements from January 1, 2000, to January 1, 2011, will receive homes under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) outside Dharavi for a nominal fee of Rs 2.5 lakh or through rental housing.

Tenements existing after January 1, 2011, until a government-determined cut-off date will be provided homes under the state's proposed affordable rental housing policy, with an option for hire-purchase.

This structure addresses local demands for rehabilitation and negates the need for any external displacement.

It is clarified that, the project's commitment to strict Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards, ensures that no deforestation occurs. The project also includes plans to plant several thousand trees, contributing to an increase in green cover.

The Adani Group, has already planted over 4.4 million trees across India and has committed to planting one trillion trees.

These efforts underscore the project's focus on environmental sustainability.

There were claims that the state government bypassed due process in issuing a government resolution (GR) to allocate land at Kurla Mother Dairy to Adani.

But sources clarified to ANI that the land is being allocated to the DRP, not directly to Adani, and that the prescribed procedures under the Maharashtra Land Revenue (Disposal of Government Lands) Rules, 1971, were followed.

It was suggested that the survey for the redevelopment should be conducted by the government instead of Adani. DRPPL sources clarified that, as with other Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) projects in Maharashtra, the DRP/SRA is conducting the survey with third-party experts.

DRPPL's role is limited to facilitation, ensuring that the survey process is impartial and aligns with government standards. 

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