BKC-Chunabhatti Connector: Work delayed as MMRDA waits for grand photo-op

Northbound stretch of Kherwadi flyover will be inaugurated on Sunday; MMRDA wants to throw open the flyover and do the bhoomipujan of the connector on the same day

It's been more than a month now that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has received all the clearances to start work on the BKC- Chunabhatti Connector. But the bhoomipujan of the connector will be done on Sunday, as MMRDA wanted to throw open the Kherwadi flyover and do the bhoomipujan of the connector on the same day.

ROAD AHEAD, AT LAST: After the Kherwadi flyover opens, motorists will no longer have to battle heavy traffic jams on the northbound stretch of Western Express Highway between Kalanagar and Kherwadi signal. PIC/SAMEER MARKANDERoad ahead, at last: After the Kherwadi flyover opens, motorists will no longer have to battle heavy traffic jams on the northbound stretch of Western Express Highway between Kalanagar and Kherwadi signal. Pic/Sameer Markande

Speaking to mid-day, Metropolitan Commissioner UPS Madan said, “On Sunday, the northbound stretch of Kherwadi flyover will be inaugurated by the chief minister and it will be opened to traffic in the morning. We have also received all the pending clearances from MCZMA (Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority) more than a month back and on Sunday itself the bhoomipujan of the BKC-Chunabhatti connector will be done.”

More than two months back, MMRDA officials had said that the work on the BKC-Chunabhatti connector would start in March and the contractor was almost ready with all the preparations to start work. However, the actual work on the same will now begin after Sunday.

Requesting anonymity, sources from MMRDA said that the reason for not starting work was that MMRDA wanted inauguration of the northbound stretch of Kherwadi flyover by CM Devendra Fadnavis and him to be there for the bhoomipujan of the BKC-Chunabhatti Connector on the same day.

The inauguration of the Kherwadi flyover northbound stretch and the bhoomipujan of the BKC-Chunabhatti connector will be the first public inauguration of an MMRDA project in Mumbai by Fadnavis after he took over as CM. The previous MMRDA project was inaugurated by former CM Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai — the opening of the southbound stretch of the Kherwadi flyover and it was done before the Assembly elections.

On Sunday at around 10 am, the Kherwadi flyover will be inaugurated and it will be opened to traffic on the same day. CM Fadnavis will later go to G-Block in BKC where the bhoomipujan of the BKC-Chunabhatti Connector will be done.

Once completed, this Rs 200 crore elevated connector will help motorists coming from the eastern suburbs reach BKC quickly. At present, motorists take more than 30 minutes to reach BKC from Chunabhatti as they get stuck in traffic near Sion circle and also on the Sion-Dharavi Link Road. Once the construction of the 1.6-km connector is completed, motorists will be able to reach BKC from Chunabhatti in less than 10 minutes.

Opening this sunday
>> The application of tar on the flyover has been completed and the work of giving final touches to the flyover is in progress
>> The southern arm of this Rs 22-crore flyover was thrown open to the public in June 2014. With the northern arm opening on Sunday, the flyover will provide six lanes for up and down traffic, providing a signal-free ride from south to north and vice-versa, reducing travel time and fuel consumption
>> It will also decongest the Kherwadi and Kalanagar junctions

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