BKC-Chunabhatti connector: All you need to know about Mumbai's new flyover that will drastically cut commute times

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The long-awaited Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)-Chunabhatti connector was opened on Sunday after being under construction for nearly four years. The 1.6-kilometre-long and 17 metre wide flyover originates in the business hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex, stretching up to the Eastern Express Highway, near the Somaiya Grounds.

It is set to provide motorists direct access to BKC via the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) and will potentially cut travel time by 30 minutes.

To announce the inauguration of the flyover, Caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also took to Twitter and said, "With this, Mumbaikars will now save 30 minutes travel time and avoid traffic congestion at Dharavi and Sion junctions."

Features of the flyover:

The Rs 203-crore flyover passes over the Mithi river and has 50-metre-long rail overbridges over the tracks near Sion and Chunabhatti stations. The flyover will provide faster access to the Eastern Express Highway and will help reduce traffic jams in the area, which is known to be among the premier business hubs in Mumbai, reported Mumbai Mirror.

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials said they expect heavy traffic flow on the Chunabhatti connector with motorists using it not only to access BKC, but also to bypass key junctions at Dharavi, Kalanagar and others.

A new traffic plan:

In a bid to regulate traffic to and from the connector, a new traffic dispersal plan has been prepared by MMRDA which expects that there will be substantial traffic coming to BKC from this connector in the morning peak hours and the reverse direction flow in the evening.

For effective dispersal of Traffic, lane marking, construction of central median, island, and installation of signages in and around BKC and signals at certain locations are being installed.

Which vehicles are allowed on the flyover?

The flyover is only for the small vehicles like bikes and cars while heavy vehicles like trucks are not allowed on the carriageway. To inform the citizens about the same, MMRDA took to Twitter and said, "Trucks, trailers, 2 and 3 wheelers are not allowed on the #BKCConnector although busses are allowed.

Reasons for delay in opening the flyover

The project was launched by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in 2015, and has missed several deadlines since, owing to multiple impediments. According to The Indian Express, the delays in obtaining permissions from different government agencies as the flyover had to cut over the Mithi River and railway tracks. With that, about 70 slums were also supposed to be cleared to connect the flyover.

Moreover, there was a prolonged process to get permission from the Somaiya Trust, as the flyover would cross the famous Somaiya Ground. Earlier, there were talks that it would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the city in September. However, that had to be pushed when intermittent rains delayed the rod surfacing work.

After the Assembly elections last month, NCP leader Nawab Malik protested and levelled allegations against the delay and warned that the flyover would be thrown open to the public without any VIP. Due to his major protests, MMRDA clarified that the flyover would be opened on 9 November.

However, ahead of the inauguration, Malik and his party's workers found out that the connector is still not ready and it will take two more days for the completion.

Also See: Mumbai: New 'fish belly-shaped' flyover connecting BKC to Chunabhatti opens for public use; overpass expected to cut travel time by 30 mins

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