India’s highway operational framework is in desperate need of an upgrade. Its infrastructure suffers from lack of attention to service quality, instead focusing operational success on “surface quality” issues like traffic and number of lanes. While hard infrastructure is upgraded, the soft highway infrastructure is non-existent, leading to long queues to pay tolls and customers who disobey the rules without consequence. In this article, Girish Shirodkar of Strategic Decisions Group offers a risk assessment of implementing an Electronic Toll Collection system, noting that an entirely new systems mindset is required for it to be successful. He suggests augmenting the existing infrastructure system with a service quality framework that monitors key parameters, supported by a holistic legal framework to enable enforcement of the rules.
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