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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Congress accuses BJP govt. of relaxing norms of Dharavi redevelopment project to suit Adani group

The Congress on November 17 accused the BJP of relaxing norms for the Dharavi redevelopment project in Mumbai to benefit the Adani group.

In a statement, Congress general secretary (communication) Jairam Ramesh alleged that the Maharashtra Urban Development Department had been “compelled” to change rules.

“It is now reported that the Maharashtra Urban Development Department — which had originally expressed its reservations about relaxing the rules — has been compelled to issue a notification that removes the provision of indexation in Dharavi’s real estate Transferable Development Rights [TDR] and made it mandatory for all Mumbai builders to buy the first 40% of their TDRs from Adani,” Mr. Ramesh said.

“This has the effect of greatly increasing the value of TDRs accruing to Adani — and Adani alone — from the Dharavi project,” he added.

The Congress leader said TDR was a transferable credit that allows builders who agree to give up their rights to build in sensitive areas — for reasons related to the environment, historical or cultural significance or similar reasons — to be compensated with extra construction rights in other approved areas. The decision to remove indexation means that TDRs generated in low-cost areas like Dharavi can be used to develop expensive real estate in premium locations such as Bandra, south Mumbai and Juhu, he said.

“These policy changes are expected to further push up prices in Mumbai’s already expensive housing market. This one policy change that benefits only Adani is yet another ‘revdi’ [freebies] offered to the Prime Minister’s most favoured business group,” Mr. Ramesh claimed.

Demands JPC

“Is there no sector of the economy that is not being converted into a Modi-made Monopoly [3M] for his friends? What is the nature of this strong electoral bond between the BJP and Adani? Only a JPC can unravel the full truth,” the Congress leader added.

Mr. Ramesh said the party had raised the issue on February 27 and April 23 this year as part of their “Hum Adani ke Hain Kaun [HAHK] series [How are we related to Adani]” that targeted the Narendra Modi government for its “proximity” to the Adani group.

Though there has been no fresh statement from the Adani group, it has denied all the allegations that were made by a U.S.-based short seller, Hindenburg.

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