The growth of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) as a business hub has led the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to chalk out a plan to ease the flow of traffic at the Bandra end of the complex.
The MMRDA will build two underground tunnels and a flyover to tackle traffic from BKC to the Western Express Highway, and towards the Bandra-Worli sea link. The three constructions are expected to be ready by 2014-end. One 1.5km-long underground tunnel will stretch from BKC’s E block till beyond Kherwadi junction. This will take traffic from BKC to the Western Express Highway.
Another 400-m underground tunnel, also starting from E block, will stretch till the approach to the Bandra-Worli sea link. The authority also plans a flyover connecting the sea link to BKC.
“We will be inviting tenders for the project by December. The whole project is likely to cost us Rs400 crore,” metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said.
At present, nearly 29,861 vehicles enter the Bandra-Kurla Complex through the Kalanagar junction. Of this, 36% comes from the sea link, 32% from the Western Express Highway and 32% from Dharavi. All these vehicles end up getting stuck in the traffic at Kalanagar.
The stretch from Kalanagar junction till Kherwadi is one of the most congested and gridlocked prone roads in Mumbai as traffic from four major roads converge on this stretch. The road attracts traffic from the BKC, the Bandra-Worli sea link, Mahim causeway and Dr Ambedkar Road, headed for western suburbs. Also, traffic entering the BKC is expected to increase greatly once the diamond bourse there gets fully operational.
MMRDA has said that with the number of vehicles in BKC increasing, it has to improve BKCs infrastructure to maintain the business district’s unique status in the city. The project will be Mumbai’s first underground intersection.