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Amid the Centre-state tussle over the fund-freeze, the MoRTH’s approach makes one wonder whether Gadkari is on the same page with the BJP top brass | File photo

Govt testing automated vehicle toll collection on usage basis: Nitin Gadkari

The government is conducting a pilot project for an automatic number plate recognition system to reduce traffic congestion at toll plazas and to charge vehicle owners for the exact distance driven by cars on the tolled highways, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday (September 12).

Addressing an event organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Gadkari said the government wants to develop India’s public transport system on electricity.

“The ministry of road transport and highways is conducting a pilot project of automatic number plate recognition system (Automatic Number Plate Reader cameras) to enable automated toll collection without stopping the vehicles,” said Gadkari.

Also Read: Govt working on developing electric highways: Nitin Gadkari

“With this new technology, we want to achieve two objectives, free flow of traffic on toll booths and pay as per your use,” he said, without giving further details. During 2018-19, the average waiting time for vehicles at toll plazas was eight minutes.

With the introduction of FASTags during 2020-21 and 2021-22, the average waiting time for vehicles has now come down to 47 seconds.

Although that is a considerable improvement in the waiting time, at certain locations, especially near cities and densely populated towns, there are still some delays at toll plazas during peak hours.

Also Read: Water crisis: Construction of highways can create lakes, says Nitin Gadkari

To provide seamless and safe traffic operation, Gadkari said Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) is being installed on all newly constructed national highways and existing 4 plus lane national highways to provide seamless and safe traffic operation.

“The ministry aims to implement the Intelligence Traffic System (ITS) on 15,000 km of the national highway by 2024 to strengthen road safety,”  the road transport and highways minister added.

Last month, Gadkari said that the government is now looking at two options, a satellite-based toll system where the GPS will be there in a car and the toll will be directly subtracted from the passenger’s bank account and the other option is through number plates.

Also Read: Seat belts to be mandatory for passengers in back seats soon: Nitin Gadkari

“We are in the process of introducing GPS instead of FASTag while using satellite and on the basis of which we want to take the toll. Technology is also available on number plate and there is good technology available in India,” he said.

“We will select the technology. Though we have not taken an official decision, in my view on the number plate technology there will be no toll plaza and there will be a sophisticated computerised digital system by which we can give relief. There will be no queues and people will get great relief,” the minister had said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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