The Dharavi redevelopment project has become more controversial with Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday announcing that he would lead a massive march to the Adani Group's corporate office at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) on Saturday, December 16 to protest against the alleged favouritism in the award of the contract. Thackeray alleged that the BJP-led coalition government in Maharashtra was favouring the Adani Group vis-a-vis the Rs 23,000 crore mega project which is aimed rehabilitating one million slum-dwellers in pucca buildings.
The total area to be developed is 259 hectares. The redeveloped project, which is just a stone's throw from the BKC, will have residential flats and commercial office space for sale in the open market. Thackeray, who held a media conference after inaugurating the renovated office of his party near Mantralaya, alleged that the state government had taken a series of controversial decisions in its bid to handover the project to Adani. He said the provision that other builders should purchase at least 40 per cent of Transferable Development Rights (TDR) by the Dharavi project was obviously aimed at helping Adani Group, which will reap windfall profits. The project spokesperson declined to comment.
Shelar attacks Thackeray
However, city BJP president Ashish Shelar slammed Thackeray for "blocking" the development of Mumbai. Shelar said earlier the Sena leader had objected to the Metro carshed at Aarey Colony. He said the redevelopment of Dharavi will be a major boon not only for local residents, but for the city as a whole.
Thackeray alleged that the government was backing the Adani Group at the expense of lakhs of residents of Dharavi.
The city unit of the Congress has also been vehemently opposing the Dharavi project. Its president Varsha Gaikwad is the MLA elected from Dharavi and she has been vocal in her opposition to the project. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh had also alleged that a massive scam was unfolding in Dharavi. Recently, Gaikwad led a big march through the lanes of Dharavi opposing the project.
Most significantly, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by Sharad Pawar is keeping mum. Pawar is a close friend of Gautam Adani with whom he has had several closed door meetings.