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Dharavi Project: Oppn Says TDR Rule Changed To Benefit Adani Group, Firm Says ‘Baseless’

The Maharashtra government issued a notification this week permitting the use of Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) without indexation. This decision has generated controversy as opposition parties raised concerns that this move has allegedly been undertaken to benefit the Adani Group in the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, as reported by media. In response, the Dharavi Redevelopment Project Pvt. Ltd (DRPPL), an SPV between Adani Group and the Government of Maharashtra, issued a statement Saturday, calling the allegations “baseless”.

As per the notification, the government has issued changes in the Development Control Rules (DCR) which permit the use of TDR without an indexation, reported Hindustan Times. This change will reportedly add more value for the Adani group for the TDR generated from its Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP). Further, the report made claims that this rule will mandate all city builders to purchase the first 40 per cent of their needed TDR from DRP only. 

As per the notification issued by the Urban Development Department of the state, the current provision of indexation for using TDR is being modified. Currently, the rules require the use of TDR via indexation which essentially means no cap on area-specific use of the TDR. For example, if a specific project generates a TDR of 1,000 square feet, the same amount is not permitted to be used in posh markets like South Mumbai and further a limit of 100 square feet for usage is imposed. 

However, the modified norms will permit the usage of an equal quantum of generated TDR, which will allow this to be used in high real estate value areas in Mumbai where prices are on the elevated end. Further, the notification included rules that make it compulsory for builders in Mumbai to purchase the first 40 per cent of their needed TDR from the Dharavi project before they can utilise other TDR. The report claims that this move allows the Adani Group a major advantage and provides it a big market for the TDR which will be generated from the group’s Dharavi Project. Additionally, the company can also charge up to 90 per cent of the ready reckoner value of the receiving plot as the TDR rate, under the new rules. Adani Realty, part of the Adani Group led by Gautam Adani, won the Dharavi Redevelopment Project in 2022. 

Allegations Made By Politicians

This decision has led to an uproar from the opposition politicians including Congress MLA and the party’s Mumbai unit president, Varsha Gaikwad, who laid accusations against the Maharashtra government of favouring the Adani company by awarding it the Dharavi Project. 

Additionally, Congress general secretary (communication), Jairam Ramesh, also claimed that the Maharashtra Urban Development Department has been ‘compelled’ to make changes in the rules, reported The Hindu. The politician added, “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.”

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Baseless And Malicious: DRPPL 

The Adani Group issued a response regarding the controversy on Saturday. A spokesperson for the Dharavi Redevelopment Project Pvt. Ltd (DRPPL), said, “It is unfortunate that some people are attempting to manufacture a controversy around TDR generation from the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP). We believe this is being done at the deliberate behest of certain vested interests who hope to derail or, at least delay, the long-cherished dreams of Dharavi’s people for a better future.”

The statement noted that the generation of TDR from the Dharavi Notified Area (DNA) was allowed since the Government Resolution (GR) of 2018 and further revised in the GR of 2022. The spokesperson for the project further clarified and said, “Both these developments happened prior to the issuance of the 2022 tender, which was won through open and fair competition. In the present, all that the government is doing is currently notifying this as a due process. 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% instead of 50%, as mentioned in the September 2022 GR.”

The company’s response further noted that the government notification of November 7, 2023, also put a limit on the pricing of TDR and the government curbed the maximum sale price of TDR at 90 per cent of the ‘ready reckoner rate of receiving plots’. The statement underlined that this was done to avoid any random pricing of TDR. “The baseless and malicious allegations of ‘tweaking’ and amendments to suit selected bidders’ do not do justice to the regulatory transparency of the process. Alleging favouritism of any kind is a mischievous ploy to muddy the waters and divert attention from our goal of transformational urban management,” the statement read. 

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