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Old 15th September 2011, 07:33   #46
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post

Edit: [/b][/u]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.
The user is only paying for the portion of road they use. There are entry / exit stations for a toll road and every exit from the interstates has a booth. The user only pays for that portion of the road they use. Yes - there are flat rate toll roads too - but still they are paying for that stretch (or a portion of that stretch) of the road that they are using.
Eg: I am yet to encounter a toll road in Wisconsin, but the moment I enter Illinois I have to pay 2-3 tolls just to reach O'hare airport. How am I, a Wisconsin resident, paying for the roads of whole USA if i do not enter Illinois at all?
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Old 15th September 2011, 10:43   #47
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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The user is only paying for the portion of road they use. There are entry / exit stations for a toll road and every exit from the interstates has a booth. The user only pays for that portion of the road they use. Yes - there are flat rate toll roads too - but still they are paying for that stretch (or a portion of that stretch) of the road that they are using.
Eg: I am yet to encounter a toll road in Wisconsin, but the moment I enter Illinois I have to pay 2-3 tolls just to reach O'hare airport. How am I, a Wisconsin resident, paying for the roads of whole USA if i do not enter Illinois at all?
arre i was saying two things:
a. Vignette pays for all roads without discrimination - which is what you have responded to.
b. Nationwide payment tag system ensures that people pay for the roads they use just like u mentioned. I was only agreeing with you, my man!


I meant sbanerjee and blackasta are talking of putting a payment system - the same thing *I AM SAYING* not what tanveer was saying. Comprende, senor?

Last edited by phamilyman : 15th September 2011 at 10:44.
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Old 15th September 2011, 10:51   #48
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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I 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. .
you make a very valid point against the Vignette. Your argument is right.
why should somebody in Orissa pay the same amount as somebody in NCR!

That brings us to nation wide smartcard.
One smartcard to bind us all?
For it to work, initially we can have smartcard and manned toll gates co-existing, but in 1-2 years, manual gates should be phased out.
With an automated system, we eliminate jams.
Currently tag and normal user mix up will always cause jams, because the police is not competent enough for lane segregation. Do not blame them. They do not know how to manage traffic.
they only know how to collect fines for black and white offenses. Like driving 1kmph above the speed limit. Or having tints which they think do not confirm to the law.
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Old 15th September 2011, 11:31   #49
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

@tsk1979; The solution will only come when the majority of users switch to an electronic system. Then the number of folks at the booths will become small. However, you can trust our system to start reducing the gates much before this happens, so fewer gates, but the same long queues.

Some solutions will work for small counties (which are somewhat homogeneous) but cannot work for large disparate countries like ours. Only some form of electronic tagging will work. One idea - reduce tolls by 10% for those paying electronically and you will see the compliance go up by leaps and bounds.

Last edited by sgiitk : 15th September 2011 at 11:34. Reason: Second paragraph added
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Old 15th September 2011, 11:55   #50
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by jods View Post
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

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.


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.


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!


Oh I am sure if I was to collect peanuts worth 10k cr,every year,i would end up with godown full of peanuts.
And why did you forget that commercial vehicles pay road tax enough to buy a car,and then they have to shell out nearly same amount each and every year in the name of road permit.
and did you forget that 2 wheelers too pay road tax,herohonda alone sells nearly 1.5lc units every month,and they only own half the market. That makes nearly 3lc two wheelers every month. Nearly 35lc every year. Paying road tax in range of 1000 to 2000 for lower segments.
And not to forget that the manufacturer too has to pay nearly same amount of taxes(with funny names).
By my reasoning ,taxes in name of roadtax,permits to ply on national hIghway,state h
iway,toll roads,state entry tax,cess on fuel etc would generate over
45k cr every 365 days.
Any way even if we go according to your calculation, we end up with nearly 30kcr every year,do you think we have made roads worth that kind of money for past decade and a half? I am not even talking about 60years of india.
If we had, we would not need those 60k km of 6lane hiway in 5 years.
I have seen a changing trend in govt offices, if a pvt cmpny went to a sarkari office 20years ago, they would face red tape that could go to moon and back,
But now babus have understood the more you work (more projects ) the more you earn.
Ofcourse the sarkari projects are more on paper and less on ground (and they offer quality that zambia would not be proud of) , and private projects are offered with huge cost escalation and still only a road that would only survive 1 monsoon,so that they can bid for repair tenders.

All govts bullshit us with that modernisation crap,that how they need to develop urgently,hence the extra taxes.
Despite the junta paying up without asking questions,
We still are a nation,with 80cr people living on 20rs a day,16000 villages without electricity, nearly double that without pukka road.
Half of all the villages without any govt medical facility , none of them have a emergency response team for dealing with any natural calamity or act of god.
This list is endless,schools,postoffices,but most of all roads,medical,electricity.
Folks in the villages have sacrificed lot more in making india.

I wonder where have all those taxes gone for past60years?
If india still shows budget defecite, we surely are putting national money in wrong policies. Buying nuclear submarines and globemasters,cwg and f1 should give way to building schools and electric poles.
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Old 15th September 2011, 12:17   #51
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Originally Posted by jods View Post
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.
I remember seeing an interview with Mr Nayak of L & T. He had a simple suggestion for peripheral roads. Select the roads (within 100km) which need to be developed at the same time. He reckons that toll collection on these may not be economical. So make it a condition that these are done up as part of the deal, and you can start collecting tolls only when these are also done. The GoI will have to sacrifice part of the premia they collect for the popular stretches, but the roads will improve much faster.
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Old 15th September 2011, 13:52   #52
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

I think as human nature dictates, we only want to pay for what we use, and we want paid services to be excellent. So how's this for a solution:

An RFID chip with GPS, which when you buy is set up with your home location and bank account (say for rs. 500). Then you can drive around 100kms radius paying no toll, regardless of how many overhead receivers you pass.

Once a vehicle crosses the 100kms, they pay toll when they pass depending on whether they want to choose the cheap (slow) lane, or the expensive (fast) one. Rate is based on 1. how far the next toll is and 2. how many number of lanes there are, and 3. if there is an alternate non-toll road to the same place (where the next toll is) and lastly 4. number of vehicles passing this road in last month. Simple formula, no option to set it as per bureaucratic discretion.

Non payment, sends you a challan at home. However, every time toll is deducted, you have a prompt through the ICE (the RFID will plug into AUX and deliver data, much like many devices for phones now e.g. tata sky remote from iPhone) to rate the road you are on. All collected ratings go into deciding how much % of the toll collected is actually transferred to the private developer.

So they get incentive to keep better maintained roads, and penalized otherwise. They cannot claim any 'grant' from govt., except if the promised number of vehicles are not using their road, and the feedback on maintenance is good.
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:17   #53
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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An RFID chip with GPS, which when you buy is set up with your home location and bank account (say for rs. 500). Then you can drive around 100kms radius paying no toll, regardless of how many overhead receivers you pass. .
LOL, do you work for CBI/RAW etc,.?
Jokes apart, why use such a complicated system, which also bypasses our piracy. Imagine your neighbourhood policeman knowing where you are, and then passing the information to thieves.
Quick, rob this house, they are on vacation 500kms away!

A simple smart card will do.
Just like Gurgaon Toll tag. The difference. Make it valid all over India, so everybody who does highways can buy this tag.

Make it compulsary for inter state buses, since they are the ones who love to violate rules the most.
With them in the tag lane, they will not take kindly to no smart card users messing up their lane.
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:23   #54
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Imagine your neighbourhood policeman knowing where you are, and then passing the information to thieves.
GPS is not necessarily a transmitter, only a receiver. Your phone GPS does not broadcast where you are (you cell signal does that though), until you want it to and geotag some information you post on the net or give permission to some 'Find my phone' app.

Only the RFID tag will know that it is outside the 100kms, which means it will activate and readers will be able to check the car number / debit account information from it. Also, costs dictate it wouldn't have extra memory to save your travel route/locations or a SIM card which would make it hackable over 3G/GPRS.

The key reason it needs to know where it is, so unauthorized toll scanners overhead, put on B-roads by local punters, don't deplete your bank account (or prepaid balance). Imagine your smart card had 100 bucks in the morning, and by the time you get to the gurgaon toll, its been reduced to 0, by scanners hung of trees in your colony by fraudsters!

Last edited by nipunkul : 15th September 2011 at 14:27.
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:46   #55
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Make it compulsary for inter state buses, since they are the ones who love to violate rules the most.
With them in the tag lane, they will not take kindly to no smart card users messing up their lane.

Its interesting to read so many different suggestions knowing that nothing is going to change.
I feel the current system is fine. Just educate people on the basics of tag lanes and cash lanes. And ofcourse Fine the violators.
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Old 15th September 2011, 15:00   #56
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Its interesting to read so many different suggestions knowing that nothing is going to change.
I feel the current system is fine. Just educate people on the basics of tag lanes and cash lanes. And ofcourse Fine the violators.
What tag lanes and cash lanes are you talking about. Only a handful of NHAI highways have tag lanes, and are manually manned leading to waste of manpower and resources.
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Old 15th September 2011, 15:07   #57
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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What tag lanes and cash lanes are you talking about. Only a handful of NHAI highways have tag lanes, and are manually manned leading to waste of manpower and resources.
Oh I am sorry for the incomplete post. What I meant is base it all on the lines of the gurgaon toll or DND toll. I think that system is pretty efficient.
The problem with universal tags is that I am not sure if people from really small towns will even know about it or get them updated and stuff on time.

Last edited by drmohitg : 15th September 2011 at 15:08.
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Old 15th September 2011, 15:10   #58
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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Oh I am sorry for the incomplete post. What I meant is base it all on the lines of the gurgaon toll or DND toll. I think that system is pretty efficient.
The problem with universal tags is that I am not sure if people from really small towns will even know about it or get them updated and stuff on time.
There is nothing efficient about any system where you need to slow down to swipe a tag, or a gate opens etc.,
With proliferation of a Tag like system, toll gates can be dismantled and replaced with automated tag readers. With phased implementation, soon no manning will be needed for toll gates.
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Old 15th September 2011, 15:35   #59
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

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There is nothing efficient about any system where you need to slow down to swipe a tag, or a gate opens etc.,
With proliferation of a Tag like system, toll gates can be dismantled and replaced with automated tag readers. With phased implementation, soon no manning will be needed for toll gates.
Yes what you say is good. very good. But I am a huge pessimist when it comes to these innovations in our country. When a handful of people ( majority of whom are educated) cannot understand or willfully follow the lane system at the gurgaon toll gate, I don't see how they will follow the above. There will always be some guy without the tag, without cash in the tag, expired tag and so on. At best first let them implement this on a very small level across major tolls like gurgaon and Dnd across the 4 metros. And study the result of this trial. If it works then we have found an innovative way.
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:01   #60
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Default Re: Should India Abolish Toll Gates and checkpoints in favour of vignettes?

First of all, in the west, are there only toll roads like what we have in India? Don't they have a non-toll option also, unlike here? Can someone file PIL in India about this?
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