A history of India’s Dharavi slum and Adani’s plans to redevelop it

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian billionaire Gautam Adani aims to convert Mumbai’s Dharavi slum into a modern city hub, while acknowledging that resettling its 1 million residents will be a challenging task.

Here is a timeline of Dharavi’s development and previous failed efforts to remake the 594-acre (240-hectare) slum.

1800s: Dharavi’s growth coincides with migration into Bombay, now known as Mumbai. Potters, leather tanners, artisans and embroidery workers started trade and business in the region by the late 1800s. Slum dwellers squatted on these lands and built huts in a haphazard manner, authorities say.

1971-76: The state government of Maharashtra passes a law to improve living conditions of the Mumbai slum, providing residents with taps, toilets and electrical connections.

2004-05: Maharashtra approves redevelopment of Dharavi and appoints Slum Rehabilitation Authority to plan the project.

2007-08: Survey by the Maharashtra Social Housing and Action League, a non-government organization, shows around 47,000 legal residents and 13,000 commercial structures in Dharavi. But the figure excludes many more occupying upper floors, and the informal population continues to grow in subsequent years.

Until 2016: The state government attempts to attract developers to overhaul Dharavi but fails to garner interest.

2018: Maharashtra issues a tender for redevelopment of Dharavi over seven years via a 20% government, 80% privately held arrangement. Dubai’s SecLink consortium and India’s Adani Group are among the bidders.

2019: SecLink’s bid of $871 million is the highest; Adani comes second with a $548 million bid.

2020: Maharashtra government cancels the 2018 tender, saying its acquisition of certain land for the project altered costs after the bidding process ended, and necessitated restarting the process.

2020: SecLink sues Maharashtra government in the High Court of Bombay, accusing it of incorrectly cancelling the tender. The state denies wrongdoing.

2022: Maharashtra issues a new tender with modified terms. Adani Group bids $614 million, India’s DLF is among other bidders. SecLink doesn’t bid.

2023: State government awards the Dharavi project to Adani Group. SecLink adds Adani Group to its lawsuit against the state government. Adani and the state government contest allegations of wrongdoing in court filings.

(Reporting by Dhwani Pandya and Aditya Kalra; editing by David Crawshaw)