The Adani Group has embarked on a significant redevelopment project for Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, located in Mumbai. This ambitious project has brought together a global team of experts, including renowned Indian architect Hafeez Contractor, the US-based design firm Sasaki, and the UK-based consultancy firm Buro Happold. These collaborations aim to transform the area, which spans over 600 acres and is home to over a million people.
Hafeez Contractor is celebrated for his work in social housing and slum rehabilitation in India. Sasaki, an interdisciplinary design firm from the US, and Buro Happold, an international consultancy known for its innovative and value-driven infrastructure solutions, bring their global expertise to the project.
The Dharavi redevelopment project was first mooted in the 1980s and has been a topic of discussion and planning for decades. The Maharashtra government approved Adani’s $619 million bid for the redevelopment in July 2023. The project, covering about 625 acres, is anticipated to be one of the world’s largest urban renewal schemes.
This redevelopment initiative has not been without its controversies. There have been allegations of favoritism towards Adani and protests against the project. Residents and social workers in Dharavi have expressed concerns regarding their involvement in the redevelopment process and have called for a new survey to establish clear eligibility criteria for the project.
The project’s total cost is estimated to be around Rs 23,000 crore, with Adani Group holding an 80% stake in the joint venture, Dharavi Redevelopment Project Pvt Ltd (DRPPL), and the remaining held by the government of Maharashtra. The group has reached financial closure for the first phase of the project, with major banks committing significant funds.
This redevelopment effort is seen as a critical step towards addressing the challenges of urban poverty and improving living conditions in one of the world’s most densely populated areas.