Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s ambitious plan to redevelop the Dharavi slum in Mumbai is causing concern among residents due to his recent financial setbacks and allegations of favorable treatment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allies. The Dharavi slum, featured in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” is known for its poor living conditions and stark contrast to the surrounding development. Adani has been approved for a $614 million contract bid to overhaul the slum and aims to demolish the existing structures and build new towers to accommodate residents and businesses. The redevelopment project could cost up to $12 billion and generate revenue of up to $24 billion. However, only residents who lived in Dharavi before 2000 will receive free homes within the redevelopment, while others may have to relocate up to 10 kilometers away. Adani’s plan comes at a challenging time for him, as he has faced allegations of improper dealings that resulted in a significant loss in market valuation. Some Dharavi residents have expressed concerns about Adani’s financial troubles. Additionally, Adani’s plans face a legal challenge from rival bidder SecLink Technologies Corporation, which alleges that the bidding process was manipulated to favor Adani. The case is being contested by the current state government, led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Adani has denied the allegations and argued that the case should be dismissed in the interest of development. The Dharavi redevelopment project has become a political controversy, with the opposition Congress party accusing the government of giving Adani an advantage. The Hindenburg report and regulatory scrutiny of Adani have also contributed to mistrust among some Dharavi residents. Adani has acknowledged the challenges of rebuilding Dharavi but remains optimistic about the project’s success. However, residents remain anxious about their future and the potential impact of the redevelopment on their livelihoods.
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