MumbaiThe state government is set to accord the status of a ‘special planning authority’ to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) in order to facilitate the speedy redevelopment of 56 colonies across Mumbai. As a result of this move, around 1.1 lakh residents will be able to shift to new homes and MHADA will get a considerable number of low-cost houses to sell in the open market, officials said. The move is designed to curb red tapism, as it will allow the MHADA to carry out its functions without running around to seek approvals from various authorities, such as the state or the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). With the special authority status, the MHADA can be the planning authority and undertake responsibilities for basic amenities within the notified area. Prakash Mehta, housing minister, said, “Currently we are seeing that any proposal of a MHADA colony needs the nod from the BMC. Both MHADA and BMC are government bodies. Conferring the status of special planning authority will result in MHADA planning its own course and not having to depend on other government agencies.” “The Housing Department has already given the green light and sent the file to the UDD (Urban Development Department). The Chief Minister has expressed his readiness as well,” added Mehta. Minister of State for Housing, Ravindra Waikar, said, “Even after so many years, the BMC has still not approved the layout and hence the revamp is stuck. Special Planning authority status will enable MHADA to approve the layout and not depend on BMC,” said Waikar. Currently, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has the special planning authority status for some areas in Mumbai, including the Bandra Kurla Complex.