Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday informed Lok Sabha that the central government will do away with the toll plaza booths across the country within a year. He said in place of physical toll plazas, GPS-based toll collection will be implemented.
“I want to assure the House that within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. It means that toll collection will happen via GPS. The money will be collected based on GPS imaging (on vehicles),” Gadkari said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
#WATCH | I want to assure the House within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. Toll money will be collected based on GPS imaging: Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari in Lok Sabha pic.twitter.com/5oAVB4lpbi— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2021
It is important to note that Gadkari’s assertion that the country will get rid of toll plazas does not mean that the travellers will not have to pay the toll charges. He meant that a system will soon be in place which will leverage the GPS imaging technology to deduct money directly from the registered bank account of the owner when the car passes through a toll road.
Government exploring ways to get GPS installed in old cars: Gadkari
“While now all commercial vehicles are coming with vehicle tracking systems, the government will come up with some plan to install GPS technology in old vehicles,” he said.
Gadkari also said that all toll collections may reach ₹34,000 crores by coming March. He informed, by using GPS technology for toll collection, the toll income in the next five years will be ₹1,34,000 crore.
93% of vehicles pay toll using FASTag: Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari also spoke about FASTag adoption, stating that about 93 per cent of the vehicles pay toll using FASTag, while the remaining 7 per cent have still not taken it despite paying a double toll. The minister said he has asked for a police inquiry for vehicles that still don’t pay toll using FASTag. There are cases of toll theft and GST evasion cases if FASTags are not fitted in vehicles, he said.
FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India. It employs Radio Frequency Identification technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it. It was introduced in 2016. Staring February 16, vehicles without FASTag are compelled to pay double toll fee at electronic toll plazas across the country.
The new vehicles have FASTag fitted with them, and for the old ones the government will provide free FASTags, Gadkari said.