New Delhi, September 13
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that the government is conducting pilot projects to replace toll plazas with automatic number plate recognition system, which will enable deduction of fee from vehicle owners’ bank accounts.
Speaking at the Mindmine Summit, the road transport and highways minister said after introduction of FASTags, toll income of state-owned National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) increased by Rs 15,000 crore per year.
“And now, we are going to launch automobile number plate technology (Automatic Number Plate Reader cameras) by which there will be no toll plazas,” he said, without giving further details.
During 2018-19, the average waiting time for vehicles at toll plazas was 8 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.
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.
“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.
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