MUMBAI: The city will have one more special planning authority (SPA). Housing minister Prakash Mehta said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has approved the appointment of Mhada as a SPA for all Mhada layouts.

Mhada vice-president Milind Mhaiskar said it was being done under the 'ease of doing business' initiative. "Mhada will not only issue no-objection certificates for redevelopment, but also approve building plans. Currently, this is being done by the BMC," said an official.

The decision to appoint Mhada as a special planning authority has been taken keeping in mind the delay in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY). Mehta said by redeveloping Mhada layouts alone the government will be able to create at least one lakh affordable tenements in the city. Another one lakh could be generated through slum redevelopment. This will be the third such SPA in the city that will approve redevelopment plans. The others being the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA). Dharavi's redevelopment is yet to take off. "Mhada will approve redevelopment of the 104 layouts in the city, as also the redevelopment of 9,000 cessed buildings in the island city and PMAY projects," said Mhaiskar.

Under PMAY, the government has proposed to build 19.4 lakh houses in urban areas of Maharashtra by 2022. In the Mumbai metropolitan region alone, the government has planned 11 lakh homes. So far not a single tenement has been constructed under PMAY in urban areas in the state, reveal records obtained under the Right to Information Act by Janhit Manch. The target was to construct 10% of the target tenements by March 2018. "We plan to redevelop all Mhada layouts on the lines of the BDD chawls where Mhada is the nodal agency and has appointed a contractor to carry out the construction," said Mehta.

Yomesh Rao, member of Practising Engineers, Architects, Town Planners Association said too many different planning authorities will only lead to chaos.

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Date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017