Big Update On Toll Tax: Centre To Use GPS-Based System of Toll Collection

Union Highways Minister said that India is moving from the current FASTag system of toll collection to GPS-based toll collection. The toll amount will be decided by the distance covered.
Big Update On Toll Tax
Big Update On Toll Tax

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, said that the Centre will introduce a satellite-based toll collection system to replace the current system of toll collection. The upcoming system will deduct money from an individual's bank account based on the distance they have travelled, Gadkari explained. "Now we are ending toll and there will be a satellite-based toll collection system. Money will be deducted from your bank account and the amount of road you cover will be charged accordingly," Gadkari said in an interview given to a news agency.

He added that this system will help save time and fuel usage as well, and noted that the travel from Mumbai to Pune has reduced from 9 hours to 2 hours. So his rationale is that some money needs to be repaid for such capital expenditures.

"Through this, time and money can be saved. Earlier, it used to take 9 hours to travel from Mumbai to Pune. Now it is a 2-hour journey. Seven hours of diesel get saved. Naturally, we have to pay some money in return. We are doing it through public-private investment. So we will have to return the money too," Gadkari explained.

How GPS-Based Toll Collection Usually Works?

Currently, the method of toll collection on Indian highways is through FASTag which has already eliminated the queues at toll plazas to a huge extent. FASTag became a mandatory requirement for four wheelers from 2021 which is a sticker affixed on a vehicle's windscreen, for electronic toll payment at over 615 toll plazas in the country across national highways. Linked to a car's registration details, the barcode on each FASTag automatically deducts the toll fee from the associated digital wallet when the vehicle crosses a toll plaza.

The introduction of FASTag has already reduced the average waiting time at toll plazas by 93 per cent to 47 seconds from the erstwhile average of 714 seconds. The new GPS-based system will probably use an automatic number plate recognition system through cameras installed along highways, then GPS coordinates of the plates will be analysed and thus the distance you travel will be measured to decide the toll you should pay.

Reiterating his commitment to making India's road network at par with that of the USA by the end of 2024, Gadkari stated that the fate of India's roads would change by the end of this year. He affirmed that he would "definitely be successful" in completing this task.

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