Housing Development & Infrastructure to rehabilitate slums around Mumbai airport, to develop airport land

Real estate major Housing Development & Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) has won the bid to develop 276 acres of slum land belonging to Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) from the GVK group's Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL).

The project involves rehabilitation and clearing of slums occupying airport land, as well as development of part of the cleared land. About 85,000 families now settled on the land will have to be rehabilitated in phases over a period of 18 to 48 months.

This is one of the largest slum redevelopment and rehabilitation projects in the country to be allotted to a single company. Mumbai's Dharavi Redevelopment Project, spread over 535 acres, is bigger, but is divided into five sectors, each of which is to be given to a separate winning bidder.

MIAL had called for bids to redevelop the land and there were five players in the race including Akruti Nirman and Marathon. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is the nodal agency for the survey and rehabilitation of slum dwellers.

The main attraction for HDIL is the transfer of development rights (TDR) and the land for commercial development it will get from undertaking this project. That amounts to about 70 acres for sale. The company is expecting revenues of Rs15,000 crore to Rs20,000 crore from the project in the next four to five years.

HDIL, promoted by the Wadhawan family, is involved in the development of commercial complexes, residential apartments, slum rehabilitation projects and the infrastructure business. The company has raised Rs1,400 crore from the equity markets this year.

MIAL chairman GV Krishna Reddy said his company had awarded the contract to HDIL because it had experience in slum rehabilitation projects in Mumbai, as well as the financial strength for a project of this size.

He sais MIAL was committed to undertaking a model slum rehabilitation exercise in line with the policy laid down by the Maharashtra government, and the company was confident that the project would result in time-bound delivery of airport development.