The Road Transport Ministry will soon introduce GPS-based toll system to replace toll plazas on highways, said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Addressing an event organised by Highways Operators Association of India (HOAI), Gadkari said that the move is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and charging motorists for the exact distance travelled on the highways.
“The government is looking at new technologies including GPS-based toll systems to replace toll plazas in the country...We will start new GPS -satellite based toll collection across the country by March next year,” he said.
Currently, tolls at national highway fee plazas are collected using FASTags which are prepaid and rechargeable tags utilising radio frequency identification.
Positioned on the vehicle's windscreen, FASTags allows a user to pay the highway fee electronically, eliminating the need to pause at toll collection booths established by highway operators.
From 16 February 2021, the government has mandated the use of FASTag for both private and commercial vehicles. According to the regulations, vehicles lacking a valid or operational FASTag are subject to paying double the toll charge as a penalty.
The implementation of FASTag has drastically decreased the average waiting time at toll plazas to a mere 47 seconds, marking a substantial 93 per cent improvement from the previous average of 714 seconds, as reported by India to the World Bank last week.
While there has been significant progress in reducing waiting times at specific locations, particularly those near cities, densely populated towns still experience some delays at toll plazas during peak hours.
The initiative to implement GPS-based tolling is a part of the endeavor to further minimise waiting times at toll plazas.
Additionally, the Ministry has conducted two pilot projects of automatic number plate recognition systems (automatic number plate reader cameras) to enable automated toll collection without stopping the vehicles.
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