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Old 14th September 2011, 14:16   #31
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

Lots of interesting alternatives here.
People are gravitating towards smartcards.
Only chance of corruption is that if somebody uses a smartcard for a lighter vehicle in a heavier vehicle.

I think the best would be to introduce weight based toll
3.5 tonnes or below pay lesser toll.
Vehicles drivers over a weigh bridge, and according to vehicle weight toll is deducted from the smartcard.

Will require investment in infrastructure.

Alternatively, electronic numberplates could determine vehicle type.

As for corruption, if you remove the human element, corruption will go away.
For example, every smart card gets an id. you can check online to see your balance and fines.
Pay it online or have a warrant issued against you.

Automation and IT infra goes a long way in checking corruption.
For example, you cannot bribe an automated parking toll gate in the malls, right?
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Old 14th September 2011, 14:44   #32
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

Anybody has details about toll system used in SIngapore? Had read somewhere that they have some device fitted to your car, and toll is automatically deducted everytime you pass the toll booth.
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Old 14th September 2011, 14:55   #33
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

I simply fail to understand the concept of toll road.
People pay road tax while the buy there vehicle,which is usually as high as 10-15 %.
Papers of the vehicle state that they are good nationwide.
Now why would someone be asked for additional money for using the road( highway or city)
.with 3rd largest number of vehicles,i am sure such high road tax would be enough to build, maintain and plan new roads(+ keep govt belly full).
Now some roads,tunnels,bridges are made by private players,but they still are not private roads,and they get paid by the govt through the tendring process,so why does the govt allow them to collect toll?
Infact why does govt establishmen (nhai) collect toll , when they are suppose to provide good roads all around india,not some special places.
I tell you what,govts have been katofying aap public's charlie for 60 years,and they will conti to do so until we mananage to find ANNA for every issue.
How funny is it that, Tatas and birlas, ambanies ,dlf,and other private billion dollar corporate houses are offered land,infra at hugely subsidised rates(as if billion dollar houses need subsidy the most) to make there profitable projects( making cigarettes,wine,flats ,automobiles and what not).
Subsidy on fuel ,agri,fertilisers,education etc going down day by day.

Not in very distant future we would export automobiles and buy dal roti from others.
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Old 14th September 2011, 14:56   #34
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

It is esentially an rfid tag which links to the deposit data. Same for Central London. I remember that about two decades ago the French just swiped your credit card (no signatures). They have multiple companies running different sections, and the card statement had only one entry for a day, so obviously some consolidation was taking place.

The problem is not how to pay, but some order. I think people entering the wrong lane should just be made to wait for half an hour. They will learn very fast!
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Old 14th September 2011, 15:21   #35
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

We as a nation first need to learn some respect for the law. What use are rules and regulations without the will to obey them, and the understanding that they're for our own convenience? How many of us actually accept our own traffic violations without trying to wriggle out of it somehow?

As for ideas, investment in infrastructure is inevitable, whether visible or invisible (background), so the government needs to stop moaning and start investing our money. There are some good ideas here. I'll throw one of my own into the mix:

Make HSRP number plates mandatory (make them capable of carrying complete details of registered vehicle), then just implement reader-type toll-posts, which record usage everytime you pass them. You get a monthly bill (like other utilities), and if you don't pay, appropriate penalties are applied (giving black marks for first few offences, followed by cancelling registration/license for repeat offenders).

It needs investment, enforcement and respect for the law over everything else, but if we can't bring ourselves to follow some basic regulations, then we deserve no convenience in the first place.
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Old 14th September 2011, 16:29   #36
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

What i still don't understand is that roads are a service that the government is duty bound to provide. The government coffers are seemingly full of cash when it comes paying for 50 car convoys for the prime minister and every other crony in the government. Hell, they don't even pay toll. I'm sure the nationally vital corruption industry is very expensive to run without having to pay toll but just putting my thoughts out there. Merely because the government is doing what it should have done by building quality roads years ago doesn't mean the same government has the right to charge a premium to use them. When the British built the initial lot of highways, however narrow, I doubt there was a toll on them. Merely to bring them up to scratch doesn't merit these extra charges. Next the government will charge a toll on the oxygen.
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Old 14th September 2011, 17:09   #37
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Anybody has details about toll system used in SIngapore? Had read somewhere that they have some device fitted to your car, and toll is automatically deducted everytime you pass the toll booth.
I have posted this before in the same thread. it is a smart card based system. Prepaid. every time you cross en electronic toll, the amount gets debited to your card, depending on the time of the day. Higher in peak times and less in off peak times. Also the number plate can be read electronically, so if you run odd a toll be prepared to be caught in the very next 5 minutes.
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Old 14th September 2011, 17:26   #38
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
@tsk1979; What about reverse taxation for National Highways which have been taken over by the NHAI and have deteriorated into an absolute mess. I have been travelling the 270km on NH2+(now)NH92 to Gwalior since 1976. It used to be five hours, three to Etawah (now part of GQ) and two to Gwalior. Now thanks to the GQ the first part takes under two and a half hours, but the total drive time is over seven hours.

The NH92 stretch has gone to dogs even since it became a NH under the NHAI. I hear that the MP High Court on a PIL has appointed a panel to oversee the roads, and the MP govt has asked for ten roads to be handed back, so that they can fix them. Right in Kanpur we have large boards proclaiming that the road (NH91) is under the NHAI so the local PWD is not permitted to fix it. I hear one or two more states have also started taking action. MP has a unique problem, being in the centre the GQ skirts it almost totally, so the non GQ roads are its life line, esp. the famous Agra-Bombay Road (I think NH3).

I do not mind the tolls, but the NHAI should be accountable, or will the Bhalu's of the world keep ripping us off. We waste time, peace, and fuel on these monstrosities. Bring back the General !!!
Absolutely agree. The NH1 Delhi to Chandigarh stretch used to take 4 hours 10 years back. It takes anywhere from 5-7 hours these days. I don't mind paying tolls but that should atleast save me some driving time.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:01   #39
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by djpeesh View Post
What I don't understand is the need to pay toll at all. Why should the NHAI or MSRDC or anyone charge a toll on something that is essentially funded through taxpayer money? If I'm not mistaken, isn't the cess on fuel part of the government funding for roads? Similarly for the roads in Bombay, aren't agencies such as MSRDC state funded? it's a bit like paying someone money to buy you food and then paying him to give it to you, isn't it?
Typically an expressway costs Rs 7 - 10 cr per km to construct. An estimated 60,000 km of Expressways, National and State highways are planned to be developed in the next 5 years with an expected investment of a whopping Rs 550,000 cr. The road cess on fuel yields a paltry Rs 15000 cr per annum. The government can not fund the deficient investment and thus requires private participation. Roads in cities such as Mumbai are not covered under this and are funded directly by the state / municipal governments.


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Originally Posted by abbey4u View Post
Similar to how we pay road tax, we should have a system to collect tolls while purchasing vehicles. For all existing cars on road, we should have an option of purchasing annual tolls. These should be mandatory papers as we have RC, insurance and pollution papers. Traffic police in every city will have the right to check these papers and levy a fine.
As far as the distribution of these funds to various firms are concerned, it can be easily done. Every private player submit the cost to central agency and they in turn will get a percentage of cost + maintainance cost till next X yeras untill the cost is recovered and then onwards only maintainance money ( I think the whole idea of toll is to recover money). This way we also negate the fact that few developers don't bid for stretches which is not profitable)
There are many issues with this.
1. Given the amount of investment required, people who would not be using a given road should not pay for it.
2. It would be difficult to monitor the cost of so many projects to insure that there is no gold plating.
3. There would be an issue of collection and mandating people to pay every year, unless it is IT enabled and centralized.

It is a wrong notion that developers don't bid for stretches which are not profitable. Generally all stretches are profitable and the government ensures profitability by providing a gap funding of up to 40% in low traffic projects. Developers don't bid for projects in which collection of toll is itself a risky proposition.

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Originally Posted by dustom_99 View Post
I simply fail to understand the concept of toll road.
People pay road tax while the buy there vehicle,which is usually as high as 10-15 %.
Papers of the vehicle state that they are good nationwide.
Now why would someone be asked for additional money for using the road( highway or city)
.with 3rd largest number of vehicles,i am sure such high road tax would be enough to build, maintain and plan new roads(+ keep govt belly full).
Now some roads,tunnels,bridges are made by private players,but they still are not private roads,and they get paid by the govt through the tendring process,so why does the govt allow them to collect toll?

How funny is it that, Tatas and birlas, ambanies ,dlf,and other private billion dollar corporate houses are offered land,infra at hugely subsidised rates(as if billion dollar houses need subsidy the most) to make there profitable projects( making cigarettes,wine,flats ,automobiles and what not).
Subsidy on fuel ,agri,fertilisers,education etc going down day by day.

Not in very distant future we would export automobiles and buy dal roti from others.
Around 2 million passenger and commercial vehicles were sold last year. At an average road tax of Rs 50,000 per vehicle, this would generate only Rs 10,000 cr which is peanuts.

You are confusing the bit about private players. There are 2 kinds of awards - EPC and PPP. In EPC the government awards projects to private players for a given reimbursement and these private players do not collect toll. Around 30% of National Highways are constructed in this fashion and this number is increasing. Toll is collected only for PPP projects in which either the developer pays the maximum amount to the government or takes the minimum viability funding.

Also, comparisons with corporate subsidy is incorrect as the road developer does not have to pay for land and is eligible for infrastructure development tax holiday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djpeesh View Post
What i still don't understand is that roads are a service that the government is duty bound to provide. The government coffers are seemingly full of cash when it comes paying for 50 car convoys for the prime minister and every other crony in the government. Hell, they don't even pay toll. I'm sure the nationally vital corruption industry is very expensive to run without having to pay toll but just putting my thoughts out there. Merely because the government is doing what it should have done by building quality roads years ago doesn't mean the same government has the right to charge a premium to use them. When the British built the initial lot of highways, however narrow, I doubt there was a toll on them. Merely to bring them up to scratch doesn't merit these extra charges. Next the government will charge a toll on the oxygen.
We can not crib about charges and then expect the government to deliver as well. Corruption aside, development of road is a costly affair and somebody has to pay. The best case is that the user should pay.
And, are government coffers really full of cash? We have been running budget deficits for so many years!
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Old 15th September 2011, 02:11   #40
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

I do not take this concept of toll road .As per what government should provide to citizens is roads which are clean , well designed etc. Toll is fine for roads which are privately funded on privately bought lands .
What NHAI has moved into is toll every roads , even SHAI also are doing this mow .In Udaipur only one road entering city of not tolled , all other have been moved to tolls over period of time.(All of these were public roads before )

Also if they have to toll everything than why do we pay taxes ?
If electricity companies are private why to pay taxes?
Similarly all essential services have over a period of time have become defunct in india and you only get them when you pay !

So what is the government doing nothing they just help the capitalist to helpo them get rich by pushing this western system on India.

I am not cribbing i am demanding justification for money the government collects from me.
Also most of you will agree even toll roads to a major percentage are badly maintained in India, (Look at Chennai , Or Delhi-Gurgaon expressway ).
Most vendors who collect tolls overlook maintenance and the road s just go down the drain every year .

Last edited by Trust_In_Thrust : 15th September 2011 at 02:14.
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Old 15th September 2011, 03:54   #41
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

A while back I was in Florida - and they have this amazing system of "Sunpass". SunPass is the Florida Department of Transportation's in house toll program. You buy a transponder by paying the fee. It is a RFID (Radio-frequency identification) chip. It is stuck in your windshield. There are separate lanes for cars equipped with Sanpass. Unlike others stopping in the toll gates, you just drive past the open entrance (reserved). The gates are equipped with RFID readers, and if you pass it without Sanpass transponder, heavy fine is levied to you. It is sent via mail to your address (the cameras are really powerful, it captures your numberplate perfectly.) A lovely, simple system. And not expensive at all. You buy the transponder for $25.00, and recharge it accordingly per your travel need. Minimum recharge is $10.00 if I can recollect.

If we can implement this system, I am sure it will work perfectly. RFID technology is not expensive.
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Old 15th September 2011, 05:50   #42
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by 999 View Post
But to ease pain, it will be better to adopt the Singapore way. There we have a smart card in the car and each time you cross a toll, the amount is deducted automatically from the smart card. It is rechargable. Also they have different rates for different periods of the day, so dicourages traffic at peak times due to higher tolls. Also the chances of bribe is zero unless people share the card across vehicles. But in Singapore that is not possible as the plates are also electronically readable. This way has an added advantage. The authority can change the tolll amount any time they wish as it is electronically stored in the RFID reader at the toll point.

Cheers
+1 to this.
This implementation will work really well for our system. The machine that reads the smart card should be the same all over India, and so once the user buys it, he can use it anywhere in India.

I see that there are several practical approaches that many have suggested. I think any of them will work, some better than the others. The question is, is the government bothered???
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Old 15th September 2011, 06:11   #43
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by sbanerjee View Post
A while back I was in Florida - and they have this amazing system of "Sunpass". SunPass is the Florida Department of Transportation's in house toll program. You buy a transponder by paying the fee. It is a RFID (Radio-frequency identification) chip. It is stuck in your windshield. There are separate lanes for cars equipped with Sanpass. Unlike others stopping in the toll gates, you just drive past the open entrance (reserved). The gates are equipped with RFID readers, and if you pass it without Sanpass transponder, heavy fine is levied to you. It is sent via mail to your address (the cameras are really powerful, it captures your numberplate perfectly.) A lovely, simple system. And not expensive at all. You buy the transponder for $25.00, and recharge it accordingly per your travel need. Minimum recharge is $10.00 if I can recollect.

If we can implement this system, I am sure it will work perfectly. RFID technology is not expensive.
+1 to this - The states in eastern seaboard have the same system called EZpass. In a toll station, there are several booths - few of them cash only. Also, if you pay by EZpass, the toll is lesser by 20-25 cents. That's how more people are encouraged to sign up. Cash option should always be there for the occasional user, but RFID system should be implemented for the regular users.
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Old 15th September 2011, 06:14   #44
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

The corruption that we are talking here is mostly 'post-implementation' but what about the corruption taking place while fixing the Toll rates. One of the key inputs determining the Toll rate is the number of vehicles using the road. An RTI application on a Toll booth in Pune had revealed serious gaps in traffic measurements. A lane had been completely ignored to show less traffic. I am sure same goes with all the Toll gates across the country.

The concept of Toll was to encourage the private investment but sadly it has turned into a murky nexus between Builder, Babu and Politicos. Forget NHAI, the toll is being charged on many rural roads and state highways.

Automation will go a long way in removing the corruption but what we need in first place is far lesser Toll roads.
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Old 15th September 2011, 06:46   #45
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
For example, in Switzerland, if you are in the country for a day or for a year, you need to buy a 40 CHF vignette.
In Austria you can buy a year vignette for 76E or a weekly one for 7.5E

Imagine such a simple system here.
If you have a car for city driving, you do not need to affix any vignette.
for highway driving vehicle you could probably buy one for 2000/year or something?
Its a lovely and compelling idea by itself, but it fails. Why?

Your idea is by now, 15 years too late and is based on zero understanding of the commercials which makes it undoable. We instead need a common tag platform which enables users to use one tag (like Gurgaon expresway for instance) nationwide. Its a Gordian knot !

here is the problem:
Roads are put up for bids - so some roads are bid out as annuities - where you pay toll but the operator earns a fixed return.
Some are bids where they ask for support - saying sir, this road (say NH8 Gurgaon expressway) will get us 10cr a year, we need 15 cr a year to maintain it & recover cost, so govt please grant us 5 cr a year
Others like gurgaon jaipur instead PAY a fixed return to the government.

So with so many diverse businesses - how do you allocate the cost of a vignette sticker across different toll plazas nationwide. Why should a road user in Orissa pay the same vignette cost as a Delhiwala whose backyard has Rs 10000cr of expressways while the orissa guy will max use Rs 1000cr wala expressways. Then you will have statewide vignettes. Jayalalithaa will levy a special vignette for DMK/Sungroup vehicles and suchlike awesomeness will result - do remember that India is a more irrationally governed society than most.

PS: You are forgetting that in india, human life = zero cost. so put 10 poor sods to collect toll is the easiest way out. in europe they can't do it because manpower cost to collect tolls is impossible.

Kindly do realize that the system no matter how screwed up, exists for a reason. Understanding why the current system is the way it is, why it works in the eyes of the sarkar and the developer and why the sarkar does not care about roadusers is the start point - than to see other systems and say how cool they are.

Change is inside out, not outside in.

Edit:
I see sbanerjee and blackasta are talking of the same thing. A nationwide payment solution. Why have a user pay for all the tolls of the nation (unlike EU countries that are 500-700km i.e one Indian state) and instead make people pay for the tolls they use. Your solution is flawed because you are replacing a problem (inefficient and exhausted payment systems such as toll nakas) with a infrastructure finance system (vignette = paying for all the infra of the country for a week, doesn't work - then HVKumar's windshield will have some 30 odd vignettes stuck for his grand runs!) when India already has proven efficient payment mechanisms (atlteast gurgaon expressway and DND).

That Gurgaon Traffic Police are a bunch of idiots who will let the toll plaza choke for hours everyday but not enforce tag lanes is a symptom that traffic needs a holistic solution - lovely system design, top quality implementation and stringent policing/enforcement.

Last edited by phamilyman : 15th September 2011 at 06:55.
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