Mhada Gets Status Update, Becomes Planning Authority
The government has set for itself an ambitious target ─ it plans to provide homes to the urban and rural poor by 2022 under its Housing For all Scheme. A move that would enable BJP-ruled Maharashtra to speed up the process in that regard, the state government has made the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) the planning authority for project implementation.
While the state housing department had already given its approval to the Mhada’s request to make it the planning authority over its 114 layouts, the state issued a circular on May 24 after the urban development department also gave its consent to the proposal.
“In case of projects under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, which are being implemented by the Mhada, joint venture of the Mhada or the Mhada as a nodal agency for public-private partnership projects, the government of Maharashtra is of opinion that for speedy creation of affordable houses, the Mhada should be permitted to exercise powers of planning authority,” the circular read.
With this, the Mhada has come in the league of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, which is the nodal planning authority for developing some areas in India's financial capital, including the Bandra-Kurla Complex.
What does this status update mean?
While developing the 114 layouts spread across areas such as Bandra, Dahisar, Goregaon, Kalachowki, Malad and Santacruz, the Mhada will be solely responsible for providing the amenities. You could call it a single-window clearance system. This means it would not have to work with several state departments and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to carry out the development work. Since there would only be one nodal agency to carry out the work, the speed of project implementation would improve significantly.
“Earlier, when plans of developers were approved by the Mhada, the other approvals from civic bodies would take a long time. This (the body getting the planning authority status) will speed up the creation of affordable housing," Mhada Vice-President Milind Mhaiskar told media.