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Old 26th March 2020, 12:31   #1
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Default NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

According to a media report, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will stop collecting toll across national highways during the countrywide lockdown.

NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown-tollplaza.jpg

The report suggests that NHAI had sought opinion from the ministry of road transport and highways regarding this. The report also states that toll collection across 530 toll plazas on national highways had halved in the past week.

The Government of India has announced a 21 day lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, starting March 25, 2020. Transport services like rail, road and air will remain suspended during this period. However, transport of essential goods and emergency services will be exempted.

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Old 26th March 2020, 12:39   #2
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

https://twitter.com/nitin_gadkari/st...68196996079616

Nitin Gadkari has tweeted this "In view of Covid-19, it has been ordered to temporarily suspend the collection of toll at all toll plaza across India. This will not only reduce inconvenience to the supply of emergency services but also save critical time"
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Old 26th March 2020, 12:41   #3
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

And who will be the beneficiaries!

Apart from the Toll operators who should now get a fixed daily grant from the government based on the past averages, I don’t think this is going to serve anyone else.
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Old 26th March 2020, 12:59   #4
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

Will save money for the transporters sending supplies, and hopefully a bit of time for the emergency services. Although with the low traffic now, they would be taking record times to travel to different destinations in any city these days.

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
And who will be the beneficiaries!

Apart from the Toll operators who should now get a fixed daily grant from the government based on the past averages, I donít think this is going to serve anyone else.
Iím sure the toll booth operators and staff will be served by being less exposed to people from not having to go to work. Whether they will heed or appreciate that is a different matter, especially if they are laid off.
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Old 26th March 2020, 13:18   #5
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

Essential services are already exempt. Won't this move encourage stray travel?
(this move is like introducing Rs 2000 rupee note during demonetization, which in fact helped the hoarders)
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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Iím sure the toll booth operators and staff will be served by being less exposed to people from not having to go to work. Whether they will heed or appreciate that is a different matter, especially if they are laid off.
.
Isn't FASTag infra in place? Why will they be laid off when, Govt has asked not to lay off and won't they need staff when the lockdown is lifted?
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Old 26th March 2020, 15:46   #6
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Apart from the Toll operators who should now get a fixed daily grant from the government based on the past averages, I donít think this is going to serve anyone else.
I dont think they will be paid. It will be outgo of money. More likely an extension of contract.
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Old 26th March 2020, 17:46   #7
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

When there's no vehicle movements, what's the point of not collecting the toll? This is a meme that's going around since yesterday...Name:  d20ba896d8834516be9f7b23ed8f2340.jpg
Views: 1219
Size:  48.2 KB

Most people who can understand Thamizh can understand about the actor, context & the joke; translates to...
After tubal ligation, there's no point saying free for child delivery
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Old 27th March 2020, 06:36   #8
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

These toll booths waste critical time and cause inconvenience ALL the time, not just now.

I for one think that toll booths where cash is physically exchanged need to disappear, it is one of the many hallmarks of a poor country, the alternative, fast tag is efficient, it saves time and money. Hopefully after the lockdown, we can fast track fast tags.

As for the toll booth operators, eventually they would lose their jobs and while it might be harsh, they need to figure a way to earn a livelihood some other way, automation is coming for most of our jobs (myself included) and it is our duty to figure out how to upskill ourselves.

Certainly a positive side effect of COVID-19.
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Old 27th March 2020, 10:10   #9
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

This is a good move. Will help save time for trucks transporting essentials like milk, fuel, oxygen, vegetables, medicines and other supplies.
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Old 27th March 2020, 10:58   #10
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

Good decision. This will reduce the risk of virus spreading far and wide quickly. Guess this will also increase adoption of fastag in the future.
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Old 27th March 2020, 11:15   #11
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

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Originally Posted by Dhiwakar92 View Post
...the alternative, fast tag is efficient, it saves time and money. Hopefully after the lockdown, we can fast track fast tags.
One incremental idea is to implement something akin to the USA's "EZPass Express" toll lanes where you can drive through at even 80 mph and the toll gets read with zero error.

Better yet, something along the lines of Massachusetts where every passing vehicle is photographed back and front. If there's an EZPass account linked to a number plate, it is charged with a discount. If there is no EZPass account linked, then a post card with the toll amount billed is sent to the registration address on file. This state eliminated toll booths altogether after a speeding car killed a toll booth operator after plowing through the plaza. (India can leapfrog the US by avoiding snail-mail and having vehicle owners pay online directly).

Last edited by locusjag : 27th March 2020 at 11:19.
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Old 27th March 2020, 11:21   #12
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

My car has the EZPass transponder and I am worried about getting readjusted to life in the 3rd world after having lived in the 1st world .

This is just one aspect. We lag behind so many countries in so many ways, toll collection being one of them, I really wonder how anybody can be proud of India
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Old 27th March 2020, 11:34   #13
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
...

Better yet, something along the lines of Massachusetts where every passing vehicle is photographed back and front. If there's an EZPass account linked to a number plate, it is charged with a discount. If there is no EZPass account linked, then a post card with the toll amount billed is sent to the registration address on file.
Business travel has taken me to MA past several years, so I've seen the transformation happen.

The current setup is amazing, and I even experienced the dual-billing last time around. My rental's EZPass was stuck in a not-fully-open position for the first couple days (until a road bump set it right), and my toll statement showed license plate billing for those days, before switching to EZPass rates. No human intervention needed, and totally accurate.

We really need to adopt some of these things on a war footing. Economically beneficial too, imagine all the wastage waiting at the tolls today, gone.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 27th March 2020 at 11:36.
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Old 27th March 2020, 11:51   #14
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
We really need to adopt some of these things on a war footing. Economically beneficial too, imagine all the wastage waiting at the tolls today, gone.
Mr.Gadkari seems to be taking cues from overseas a lot. The US had started an EZPass Plus scheme in 2017 whereby you can use it to pay for parking or whatsoever any vendor desires. (JFK airport adopted it instantly. I signed up for it and used it at JFK; I saved 5 minutes once at the airport in May 2017 while long lines of cars stood by to pay the parking fees.)

We had a similar concept proposal announced in India in 2019 as well whereby Fastag can be used to pay for parking, for fuel etc.

I really hope India floors the accelerator on a lot of these things and helps us save time at parking lots, toll booths etc. I would even support an urban congestion charge in India enabled by Fastag, along the lines of London's charges for urban car usage.

Last edited by locusjag : 27th March 2020 at 11:54.
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Old 27th March 2020, 12:40   #15
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Default Re: NHAI to stop collecting toll during lockdown

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Originally Posted by Dhiwakar92 View Post
I really wonder how anybody can be proud of India
Take a good look at the stuff happening at NYC, NJ, Bay Area, Seattle or any other major city in US and then compare it to any other city in India. That should give you one good reason to be proud of your country. If it's still your country.

Interstate system in US was developed after the war, when the car makers took over public transit systems and simply closed them to favor auto sales. Highway development in India didn't kick off until Vajpayee's government. Considering it has only been 20 years, I would say we have done a good job. Is it mind blowing like some other countries? Absolutely no. Do we have room to improve? Hell yes. Are we improving? Definitely.

And if you're comparing US interstates to our highways, you should also look at the state of public transit beyond the major cities. It is literally non existent. If you don't have a car, your life will be screwed. That should not be something any country should be proud of.

It's been more than 3 years since the Fastag system was launched and at least in Kerala, 40%-50% of the vehicle users are yet to switch over, and that is after all the arm twisting by the government. I'm not sure about pan India statistics. But I'm sure that it won't be more than 70%. So there is no way can we put the entire blame on government for lack of enthusiasm in implementing cutting edge technologies.

Talking about the current move to stop collect tolls, I welcome it. Like others suggested, I don't think it's not going to make a big impact, considering the fact the roads are almost empty anyway. But it will allow whoever is working at the toll booths to just remove the barricades and go home, even if they are a minority.
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