On Saturday, the Adani Group-led Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) denied claims of favoritism in the case. DRP, which includes the Maharashtra government as a stakeholder, claimed in a statement that "vested interests" are aiming to derail or postpone the project, which has a revenue potential of Rs 20,000 crore.
On Friday, the Opposition Congress charged that the BJP administration is 'benefiting' Adani Group by loosening regulations for the Dharavi redevelopment project in Mumbai.
Its general secretary, Jairam Ramesh, claimed that the Maharashtra Urban Development Department, which had previously expressed reservations about relaxing the rules, "was forced 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."
The DRP statement called the attempts to "create a controversy" over TDR creation "unfortunate." It stated that the generation of TDR within the Dharavi Notified Area (DNA) has been permitted since the Government Resolution (GR) of 2018, which was modified in the GR of 2022, and that both developments occurred prior to the publication of the tender for the redevelopment in 2022.
According to the statement, the Maharashtra government is currently simply informing the matter under the proper procedure. It also stated that a GR published before the start of the 2018 procurement process included a provision for the sale of TDR generated by the DRP throughout Mumbai.
"Contrary to the claim that these policy changes are going to benefit a single entity, the final notification from the government has, in fact, capped the minimum usage of TDR in other projects at 40 percent instead of 50 percent, as mentioned in the September 2022 GR," the government said in a statement.
Furthermore, the government notification of November 7 places a price cap on TDR, contradicting the previous position that there was no constraint on the sale price of TDR derived from DNA, it stated.
It stated that the government has now limited the maximum sale price of TDR to 90% of the ready reckoner rate of receiving plots in order to avoid arbitrary pricing of TDR and has also included a provision requiring the civic body to maintain a portal with details of the TDR generated from the project.
"Alleging favoritism of any kind is a mischievous ploy to muddy the waters and divert attention from our goal of transformational urban management," the statement stated. Allegations of altering and changes to suit selected bidders were dismissed as false and malicious. The Congress said that the government had effectively enhanced the value of TDRs accruing to "Adani and Adani alone from the Dharavi project" through the recent changes.
"We asked the prime minister questions about how the Adani Group was allowed to bag the Dharavi Redevelopment Project in 2022 with a bid of only Rs 5,069 crore, which was Rs 2,131 crore lower than the original winning bid in 2018," Ramesh added. This was after the original winning bidder was disqualified."
TDR, according to Ramesh, is a transferable credit that permits builders who agree to give up their rights to build in sensitive regions for environmental, historical, or cultural value, or similar reasons, to be compensated with additional construction rights in other permitted locations.
However, he claims that the decision to abolish indexation means that TDRs generated in low-cost regions like Dharavi can be utilized to construct expensive real estate in high-end neighborhoods like Bandra, south Mumbai, and Juhu.
The Congress has targeted the Adani group, accusing it of benefiting from the BJP government, and has demanded a JPC investigation into the charges made by the Hindenburg research organization in the United States.