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Updated January 28th, 2024 at 15:06 IST

Adani Group initiates biometric data collection for Mumbai's Dharavi slum redevelopment

The data collection effort, beginning in February, will involve a comprehensive survey of up to 1 million residents in Dharavi.

Reported by: Business Desk
Dharavi
Adani Group initiates biometric data collection for Mumbai's Dharavi slum redevelopment | Image:PTI
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Dharavi's slum redevelopment: In a step towards the redevelopment of Mumbai's sprawling Dharavi slum, the Adani Group, led by billionaire Gautam Adani, is set to commence data and biometric collection in February. The project aims to transform one of Asia's largest slums, covering 640 acres, into a revitalised urban area. However, the process faces challenges, including legal disputes over the contract award.

The data collection effort, beginning in February, will involve a comprehensive survey of up to one million residents in Dharavi. This initiative plays a crucial role in determining eligibility for the free housing units allocated in the redeveloped area. The Adani Group secured the redevelopment bid in partnership with the state of Maharashtra, marking a pivotal moment in the prolonged efforts to revamp Dharavi.

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Free housing

Eligibility for free housing is restricted to residents who lived in Dharavi before the year 2000. With the last survey conducted 15 years ago, concerns arose about the potential relocation of around 700,000 ineligible inhabitants, raising anxieties about lost livelihoods and increased rent burdens for affected individuals.

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SVR Srinivas, head of the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority overseeing the project, outlined the survey methodology. A door-to-door approach will utilise questionnaires to gather comprehensive details about Dharavi's occupants, distinguish between residential and commercial use, validate ownership proofs, and collect biometric data.

"Our objective is that all eligible people should get houses, and no ineligible people should get undue advantage," stated Srinivas.

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The Adani-led firm plans to deploy global teams for the redevelopment project, expecting the actual construction to commence within a year. The comprehensive survey will be conducted in two phases, with a pilot phase covering a few hundred residents within three to four weeks, followed by the full-scale exercise lasting nine months.

Controversy surrounds the redevelopment project, with the opposition parties alleging favouritism towards Adani in the $614 million bid award. Both the state government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party, and Adani deny any wrongdoing. The Dharavi Redevelopment Authority will play a pivotal role in finalising the eligibility criteria and overseeing the allocation of free homes or relocations based on the survey results. Additional staffing is expected to support the comprehensive survey and subsequent redevelopment initiatives.

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(with Reuters inputs)

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Published January 28th, 2024 at 15:06 IST

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