Even as Bandra Kurla Complex is fast becoming the country’s most happening business-cum-leisure hub, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is rolling out a Rs 1,000-crore road project to ensure cars moving in and out of the area aren’t caught up in traffic jams. UPS Madan, commissioner, MMRDA, says the idea is to have three elevated roads and two flyovers connecting BKC to different parts of Mumbai.
One elevated road will stretch from Dharavi to the Bandra Worli Sea Link cutting through the mangrove forest; in addition, two flyovers of two lanes each will run from the sea link into the complex. With the foundation stone for the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to be laid in September, time is running out for MMRDA.
Once the underground station for the bullet train to Ahmedabad is built and the country’s biggest convention centre — across seven million sq ft — comes up in late 2018, traffic to BKC is expected to go up four-fold from current levels. MMRDA’s hoping to be able to complete the roads by end 2019. Much before that, Bombay’s first drive-in theatre would be screening regular shows and two large malls would be thrown open for business.
The convention centre will be ready to host conferences by June next year.
MMRDA recently amended rules to permit land in BKC to be used both for business and entertainment; moreover, 30% of the area in a commercial plot can also be used to develop residential properties. While BKC already has a dozen restaurants, MMRDA officials said they are mulling a change in the rules to allow more pubs in the area after having receiving at least a dozen applications.
The convention centre, being built by the Reliance Group, will enclose, in addition to a shopping complex and hotels, a cinema theatre on the lines of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, hotel chains including the Bellagio, MGM Grand and Skyloft will all check in at the Maker Maxity complex nearby.
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The two elevated roads will help de-congest traffic on the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR). The first will start at the Vakola flyover near the Western Express Highway and passing over Kalina university junction, will end before the flyover on the SCLR. The second will start at MTNL junction in BKC and end near the LBS flyover at Kurla. A four-lane road from BKC to Chunabhatti is also being built.