Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Street Experiences


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10th June 2014, 13:37   #16
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Pune
Posts: 259
Thanked: 202 Times
Default re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

44 tolls across Maharashtra is highly minuscule and that too looking at the list its mostly the interiors or the lesser used roads.
Maybe the ROI on the tolls wasn't justified.

Just between Pune and Nagpur there are over 30-35 tolls, ideally if they wanted to really do something, they should have cleared tolls for all major cities/corridors within MH and not in bits and pieces.

Or

Reduce the average toll by 50%, classic example is the difference in both tolls and quality of roads in MH compared to KA.

Cheers!
Trojan
Trojan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10th June 2014, 14:12   #17
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,852
Thanked: 15,407 Times
Default re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghav_K View Post
^ i know someone working in l&t and the news i heard is out of 30 odd tolls operated by them, most are bleeding with heavy losses. Only a few, like those on the chennai bangalore highway make good profit.

So not paying tolls is not gonna help infra development.

although some toll operators collect tolls and do not maintain the road, thats another story!!!
It is well known that road construction costs are often inflated 3X the original amount and toll is charged based on that.
And in the end it is said, "we have to increase toll because cost is not recovered".

If it was such a loss making thing, why did those companies fill tenders? They were not forced to construct, were they.
Yet whenever there is a road project, companies make a beeline for the same.
tsk1979 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th June 2014, 14:24   #18
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,169
Thanked: 1,727 Times
Default re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Looking at the list in post#7, it is a clear election gimmick. They aren't extremely heavy traffic roads or seems very old ones. The bridge in Sangli is from past decade or so and it should have already recovered the cost. Even if not, the locals have already put up a lot of fight and agitation that government must do something to show that they are considerate - after all there are elections around the corner
abirnale is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10th June 2014, 14:30   #19
Distinguished - BHPian
 
phamilyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,582
Thanked: 3,244 Times
Default re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
And then lets come to the point of that now only "Tax payers" will fund this, well everybody pays tax. All states have VAT at 12.5% which you pay when you buy anything. Some items are taxed less, some are exempt, but lots of people pay taxes.
And this collective tax is being used

Earlier villagers and locals(as in rest of India) could get away without Tax on their tractors or three wheelers or by showing a residence card. Now they will also pay this tax indirectly.
Disagree.
http://www.onemint.com/2013/03/04/bu...omment-page-1/
http://www.onemint.com/wp-content/up...es-2013-14.png (2nd or 3rd chart)

The excise taxes (VAT) of 16% that you're referring to, is being paid by 100% folks.
The income tax of 20% is being paid by you and me and other such losers in the organized sector, the 3% who pay for everyone else. The cash economy doesn't fall within that net at all. The comparative redistribution burden is much higher. Redistribution per se isnt bad - when it becomes a runaway mess is when it needs to be checked. Personal income tax can reduce if the government stops spending like there's no tomorrow.

Again, the key here is "user pays". Ideally, if someone in rural maharashtra wants to fund a fancy clover leaf intersection in a village, power to them. But if that means mumbaikars' tax money gets diverted there, that's not good. (hat tip to gsurya)

I hope its only those 309 crore of roads being bought out, and not the entire highway network, which would be a colossal outlay.

Ideally they should've implemented ETC to solve the problem you outlined - which will STILL not get solved. But hey - who wants to charge users when you can milk tax payers and get votes too!!

Last edited by phamilyman : 10th June 2014 at 14:31.
phamilyman is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th June 2014, 15:34   #20
BHPian
 
Raghav_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Chennai
Posts: 98
Thanked: 69 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
If it was such a loss making thing, why did those companies fill tenders? They were not forced to construct, were they.
Yet whenever there is a road project, companies make a beeline for the same.
L & T has decided not to accept any future highway projects in tamilnadu.

And they want to back off from a tender which they already won, stating the project is not viable at present, but they are not being allowed by the concerned ministry.

Again this is all what i heard from my relative and i have no proof to those statements.

Plus, a significant share from the tender goes to the pockets of certain " babus ", so tenders have to be inflated to account for them and profits.
Raghav_K is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10th June 2014, 16:01   #21
BHPian
 
iVento's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 184
Thanked: 227 Times
Default re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

I think this is a political move by the Maharashtra Government. As someone pointed out in a previous post, atleast the timing suggests that. As we are aware, there were plenty of agitations and violence before the General Elections against the "illegal" toll plazas in Maharashtra. Is it a strategic move to neutralize those people? Assembly elections are around the corner in Maharashtra.

Couple of interesting NHAI rules on toll collections:
  • For projects involving conversion into four-lanes of existing two-lane of national highways shall not exceed the capping rates given below at June 1997 prices, namely Car/Jeep/Van -Rs. 0.40 per km.
  • Toll collection shall be done only at one place within a distance of 80 kms. from a point at the beginning of first National Highway Section or approach of entry of the first permanent bridge to be crossed under the jurisdiction of the same executing agency, regardless of number of projects falling within the length in order to facilitate free and unhindered movement of traffic.
Complete NHAI Rules HERE
iVento is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th June 2014, 11:52   #22
BHPian
 
roshan_cruise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Dubai (Thane)
Posts: 53
Thanked: 33 Times
Default Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Rather than removing tolls, can't the government introduce smart cards for toll collection and reduce the tolls amount.

Here in Dubai, we have a smart tag called 'Salik', which we have to recharge like a prepaid mobile connection. Vehicle passes through a toll gate, toll gets debited from the tag.

No stopping,No waiting,No fuel wasting involved, you just drive through. The toll charges are 4 dirhams for a car (64 rs).

While, it may seem less, considering the number of cars travelling to and fro, the amount comes upto a high figure.

But of-course the roads are good so people don't mind paying 4 bucks per journey.

The traffic (dubai->sharjah and back during rush hour) well the less i say, the better. Imagine mumbai traffic minus the honking.
Attached Images
 
roshan_cruise is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th June 2014, 12:22   #23
BHPian
 
turbodude's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Chinchwad-Pune
Posts: 106
Thanked: 102 Times
Default Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Its good that 44 toll plazas will be closed. While there is no relief for Mumbai and Thane, there are reasons behind this. Most of the roads are built with private partnership and as per the contractors' feedback, they pay huge interest on the loan taken for construction work. So indirectly we are paying public sector banks for driving on our roads. Govt has to provide low interest loans to road contractors because the payback is guaranteed.

Very few people are against tolls. But everyone is against the irregularities clearly visible in this process and year by year increasing toll amounts. For example, Bhiwandi - ShilPhata - Panvel travel you have to shell out 60 rupees for one way travel in a 4 wheeler. All political party vehicles go for free, this angers common man because only government vehicles are allowed to go without tolls. Now even if you pay 60 rupees, you face traffic jams at Kalyan border because the creek bridge is single lane. No plans to build a second bridge.

Then Shil Phata to Kalamboli, there are lots of speed breakers. Also a narrow stretch near Taloja where only 2 lane road is there for 200 meters. A small car has to battle with huge containers which drive ALWAYS near dividers and left lane is occupied by 3 wheelers who are exempted from tolls. There is an alternate road via Taloja MIDC - Navde road railway station but it is under heavy concrete work and vehicles better avoid that road.

Toll roads were presented as angels, to ease our traffic and resolve our woes but they have turned out to be cash eater monsters.
turbodude is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th June 2014, 12:56   #24
Team-BHP Support
 
noopster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 8,626
Thanked: 9,100 Times
Default Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

I agree with this move. Tanveer has covered most of the salient points but let me also inject some context into the debate, as a Maharashtra resident.

The simple fact is that there seems to be no correlation between toll paid and the condition of the road. If you see the condition of NH4 along the Satara-Pune route you will be disgusted that you are expected to pay the government to use them. Am not talking about seasonal road damage; this is year-round and there is seemingly no solution in sight. Secondly, tolls in Maharashtra are extremely high: anyone who has driven Mumbai- Bangalore will testify to that. Karnataka side has infinitely smoother, safer roads at a fraction of the toll charged. Thirdly, and most importantly, a number of the toll booths in MH are suspected to be illegal. There is one at Chandani Chowk (on the road to Lavasa off the NH4 at Pune) which for a long time everybody "knew" was not suppose to exist and the proceeds apparently went not to the government but to enrich someone's personal coffers. Locals knew better than to even stop at this toll booth and I have personally witnessed fisticuffs between vehicle plyers and the booth staff several times. In the last round of violence targeted at toll booths, this one shut shop but shows every sign of popping its ugly head up again anytime.

Given all this, why should Maharashtrians continue to suffer silently and pay through their nose, getting nothing in return? There was a time when the old Bombay-Pune highway was free and the expressway a toll road. Now there is no way you can travel between any stretch on this route and not pay toll. It strikes me as strange that you need to pay 30/- each time you enter and exit the city of Mumbai (am talking about cars- it's higher for other vehicles). There are even roads within the cities that are tolled (e.g. Aarey colony in Goregaon East).

The need of the hour is accountability. It is sad that opposition leaders have to resort to violent means to engage the government's attention on this, which I do not support at all, but it just seems it is the only way they will sit up and take notice!
noopster is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th June 2014, 13:52   #25
Senior - BHPian
 
rakesh_r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PNQ/MUM/PKD
Posts: 1,019
Thanked: 607 Times
Default Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post


Given all this, why should Maharashtrians continue to suffer silently and pay through their nose, getting nothing in return? There was a time when the old Bombay-Pune highway was free and the expressway a toll road. Now there is no way you can travel between any stretch on this route and not pay toll. It strikes me as strange that you need to pay 30/- each time you enter and exit the city of Mumbai (am talking about cars- it's higher for other vehicles). There are even roads within the cities that are tolled (e.g. Aarey colony in Goregaon East).
What I dont understand is,even if we leave Mumbai we need to pay 30 bucks.Why do we need to pay that.
I guess Aarey colony road is the only place in India where even 2 wheelers need to pay toll.
rakesh_r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th June 2014, 13:56   #26
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 59
Thanked: 39 Times
Default Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
The simple fact is that there seems to be no correlation between toll paid and the condition of the road. If you see the condition of NH4 along the Satara-Pune route you will be disgusted that you are expected to pay the government to use them. Am not talking about seasonal road damage; this is year-round and there is seemingly no solution in sight. Secondly, tolls in Maharashtra are extremely high: anyone who has driven Mumbai- Bangalore will testify to that. Karnataka side has infinitely smoother, safer roads at a fraction of the toll charged.
I travel Mumbai-Bangalore and back each month and even I think that road quality in KA (Bangalore city excluded) is far better than MH. Also, as noopster suggests, toll amounts per booth are lower in KA. I heave a sigh of relief after crossing Kolhapur as roads become so much better suddenly.

Toll plazas were put in the first place so that cost of building the roads could be collected from actual users. Toll collection should happen only till 100% recovery of expenditure has been achieved. But in my lifespan, I have never seen a single toll plaza shut down. Has anyone here on the forum seen any toll plaza shut down after due recovery?

Toll collection on newly constructed national highways is acceptable because, given its often skewed priorities, the govt doesnt have enough money to build new roads. And for economic growth we absolutely need new roads. And wider roads. The Tumkur-Chitradurga stretch is an absolutely wonderful stretch to drive. It is a divided, 3 lanes each way road.

I really think that toll collection has worked in favour of the public. As a kid when the family traveled on national highways, single lane roads or 2-lane but undivided roads were common and a single accident (which were common too) would cause traffic snarls that would take hrs to get cleared up. Roads then were unsafe too given they were undivided. Nowadays, I think most of those roads have become divided reducing chances of accidents and hence reducing chances of traffic snarls.

Without going OT, I'd like following implemented as part of toll policy a road user:
1) Road quality must be a tender condition, if it already isnt. If when handing over roads, a company doesnt fulfill the quality criteria it shouldnt be allowed to collect toll.
2) Toll booths should be completely automated - no manual intervention so there are no traffic jams. This will bring in more transparency about total revenue already collected.
3) Till automation kicks in, toll booths should accept plastic money. Who carries loose change enough for > 10 toll nakas enroute Mumbai-Bangalore? And whats with the weird Rs. 17 toll?
4) Toll amount should be decided at time of handing road over to govt. There should be no revision because all the money has already been spent on road construction. This can curb under tendering significantly making way for serious infrastructure players to also bid.
pratika is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th June 2014, 14:06   #27
Senior - BHPian
 
ghodlur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Thane
Posts: 4,924
Thanked: 1,912 Times
Angry Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Well said Anoop.

While people are rejoicing that n number of tolls are atken off, what they havent realized is that this has come at a cost of 300+ crores which will be paid the toll operators as their compensation and add to the tax payer's misery where some component of the taxes will be liberally increased by the so called favour givers. Its very evident that this is nothing but a election gimmick and a feeble attempt being made to please the voters.

IMO the tolls on the Mulund entry points - both EE way and LBS, Ghodbunder Road, NH3, Vashi etc shoudl be the first onthe list to be removed. Their costs have been recovered way long back and infact the toll operators are making such huge money to allow them bidding for other tolls tenders.
ghodlur is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th June 2014, 15:19   #28
BHPian
 
Slush_Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 64
Thanked: 40 Times
Default Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

i wish the Toll plaza at Dahisar check nakka shuts down, its a pathetic stretch of road towards Mumbai and towards Vasai the Vasai bridge is under repair, so commuters have to wait for 30 minutes in long traffic jam every time they want to go beyond Bhayandar.
Slush_Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th June 2014, 02:14   #29
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 175
Thanked: 17 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
IMO the tolls on the Mulund entry points - both EE way and LBS, Ghodbunder Road, NH3, Vashi etc shoudl be the first onthe list to be removed. Their costs have been recovered way long back and infact the toll operators are making such huge money to allow them bidding for other tolls tenders.
While principle of "pay and use" behind the Toll seems logical, a closer look shows how it has been turned on its head in real practice. Already many of the members have highlighted the issues like non-transparent nature of the system, continued increase in the rates, continued collection of toll even after many years and so on.

For Mumbai entry Toll, there are a few more issues applicable.

Conceived during the Sena-BJP regime, the so-called toll was intended to collect money to pay for the 55 flyovers built in Mumbai. But long after the flyovers will have been fully paid for, the toll will continue almost indefinitely, as the MSRDC hurriedly signed a new agreement in 2010 with MEPTL to collect toll till 2026, with rate hikes every 3 years. The next rate hike is due to 2014 Oct.

This toll is actually an entry-exit tax. Tolls are collected from people who either exit Mumbai or enter it from Thane and Navi Mumbai, and may have no link to the use of the flyovers. Thus it affects the residents staying in Mumbai suburbs near these entry points badly. This is highly discriminatory, for the flyover are used more by Central Mumbai residents, who pay no (or infrequent) toll at all.

For examples, my place of residence in Mulund - a Mumbai suburb- is surrounded by three Toll Plazas, all within a radius of 1-1.5 km (may sound unbelievable to those not from Mumbai - but that true). The adjoining town of Thane, which also happens house several eductaional institutes, hospitals and markets, is naturally frequented by residents of Mulund. However, for every single trip to & from Thane, we are required to pay Rs.60 Toll, for travelling a distance of less than 2km, and without use of ANY fly-over whatsoever. On the other hand, the residents of central Mumbai - who would be crossing the borders of Mumbai much less frequently, would naturally be paying much much less toll, though they would be much bigger beneficiaries of the 55 fly-overs for which the toll was started. No wonder the residents of suburbs will keep opposing the toll. The resistance perhaps would have not have been that bitter if the toll collection was evenly distributed through out the city. This could be through automated toll gates such as "Salik" in Dubai - already mentioned in this discussion earlier, or a small levy on petrol/diesel sold in city. We have taken up the issue through various mean for last 15 years but to no avail.

Further, very little of the toll money actually goes to maintaining roads in Mumbai or Thane or Navi Mumbai. These are maintained by the respective municipal corporations. In fact in Jan 2014 the BMC mayor demanded that the toll be scrapped. When money raised from road users does not go to improving their roads, the toll is clearly meant to serve collateral purposes – like keeping the toll collectors in business.

Also these the toll plazas create huge traffic hurdles at places which are already serving as octroi nakas. Every morning and evening one can get stuck in queues upto a km long. This is a huge waste of fuel and time.

Similarly I have seen Toll Plazas in some parts of Maharashtra where the location of the plazas is cleverly chosen so that it benefits only the toll collectors. For example while travelling from Amravati to Morshi, one is required to travel the initial 8-10km on the Amravati-Nagpur road (AH46) which is a toll road, before exiting at Nandgaon-Peth to Morshi road. The further 45km long journey to Morshi from Nandgaon-Peth is on a road which is old and in extremely bad condition. Yet, the toll plaza is located just before the exit to Morshi and thus a LMV traveller to Morshi is required to pay the toll amount of Rs. 70/- for using the <10km of new road, an atrocious rate of Rs. 8/- km. I understand that the local residents plea to shift the Nandgaon-Peth toll plaza to a location after the Morshi exit (or exempt them from this Jizia tax) has fallen so far on deaf ears.

I now believe that the toll system in India and Maharashtra in particular - has been designed to fleece the motorists, and benefit the contractors and their friends holding posts in Govt.
psp62in is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th June 2014, 04:52   #30
Distinguished - BHPian
 
phamilyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,582
Thanked: 3,244 Times
Default Re: 44 Toll Plazas in Maharashtra to be shut down

Interesting. Thanks for the context, MH folks.

Up north in NCR or here in Chennai, there are none of these pointless inner city tolls which are simply a nuisance. Tolls are applicable only for major roads like the Gurgaon expressway (rather was) etc. Therefore I personally found it justified. I can see how it is a completely different reality for some of you!

btw as an ex-delhiite, I can tell you that tolls up north on NHs are in the 0.6-0.9 rs/km range while Karnataka was around 1-1.3rs/km. I find Kar/TN tolls ridiculous

By the way, this whole concept of "tolls will continue even after bridges have been paid for" needs closer examination. Most folks don't pause to understand the math. The toll operator is not just supposed to recover the investment, but also spend on O&M (where the small fry may definitely do fraud, not biggies like L&T) and earn a rate of return on equity. Let's not forget a rupee today is worth much more than a rupee five or ten years down the line. Therefore, even if the gross collections may cross the project cost, in reality, the toll operator can still charge for a longer duration (either fixed or till the equity is paid back etc) - how much longer? I don't know. I'm not familiar with NHAI rules but I would expect this would be the case.

And tanveer, saying that road projects are priced at three times the actual costs is hearsay. Do you have even a shred of evidence towards that? The issues you allege may definitely be there, but to assume that actual project costs are a small fraction of the announced cost is totally wrong. A corollary from your post is that all the entities in the roads sector including respected cos like L&T etc are outright corrupt and rotten organizations. Which is totally wrong esp for cos like L&T in my personal knowledge (others I don't know).

PS: The other question is that the system should have been reformed like PSP says - not shut down. Else it is a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Last edited by phamilyman : 12th June 2014 at 05:05.
phamilyman is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Toll Free roads likely in Maharashtra for cars and SUVs Zappo The Indian Car Scene 0 18th March 2015 19:30
PIL against Toll Plazas admitted in Punjab and Haryana high court tsk1979 The Indian Car Scene 27 1st May 2012 18:18
Fiat India : How much longer before they shut down? GTO The Indian Car Scene 378 12th February 2009 13:35
Reliance A1 Plazas Captdey Route / Travel Queries 32 30th October 2008 18:24
Nawab Motors (Noida Tata-Fiat dealer) shut down. sidindica Indian Car Dealerships 1 21st February 2008 12:56


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 15:07.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks