Connector cuts BKC-Wadala travel time from 45 minutes to just six

Mumbai: 12 Nov, 2019 (Times of India)

The first working day since the BKC-Chunabhatti connector was thrown open to the public saw travel time being cut drastically for those who used the new flyover, but made no difference to congestion on other key roads in the vicinity. Traffic police said it would take at least a week for motorists to get well-versed with the new flyover. But the decision to keep off autorickshaws, motorcyclists and trucks from the connector is also being blamed for congestion not reducing on other roads such as Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) and CST Road.

“I timed my ride to just six and a half minutes from Wadala Truck Terminus to BKC and another three minutes within BKC to travel near Cricket Club. Last week, it took me 45 minutes at this hour,” tweeted Srinivas Jain, a motorist.

Some motorcyclists, however, flouted the rules and got onto the BKC connector on Monday. On spotting traffic police deployed on the other end of the bridge, they took a dangerous U-turn and turned behind in the wrong direction. “It was very dangerous and could have led to an accident,” said a witness. App cabs did not use the BKC connector on Monday because it did not show up on Google Maps. “I took 90 minutes to travel from Chembur to Goregaon via SCLR on Monday, which is the same as last week. The new BKC connector made no difference to SCLR congestion. One of the reasons could be that the connector is not helpful to every motorist. In fact, the exit of the new connector lies in the interiors of BKC, which may not work for some motorists,” said a frequent traveller.

Shashank Rao of Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union said he will oppose the ban of autos on the new connector. “Auto is a public service vehicle and by banning it, you are denying the right of way for the people of Mumbai. If you allow autos on the connector, you will be encouraging public transport and dissuading people from using private vehicles. Instead, the authorities seem to be more interested in giving a boost to private cars for speedy travel. This is uncalled for,” he stated.

Activist Anil Galgali demanded that the connector should be thrown open to bikes and autos as these vehicles contribute to congestion on roads, and allowing them access can ease traffic on other roads. “With the new connector, transport to Thane-Nashik and Panvel-Pune will be smooth,” he said.

Since autos, bikers and trucks aren’t allowed on the connector, there wasn’t much relief in traffic on surrounding roads. Some bikers broke the rule, of course