Toll booths to be removed, GPS-based toll collection in a year

New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI):
India will do away with toll booths and implement complete GPS-based toll collection within one year, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
He said 93 per cent of the vehicles pay toll using FASTag, but the remaining 7 per cent have still not taken it despite paying a double toll.
“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.
The minister said he has instructed police inquiry for those vehicles which do not pay toll using FASTags. There are cases of toll theft and GST evasion cases if FASTags are not fitted in vehicles.
FASTags, which facilitate electronic payment of fee at toll plazas, was introduced in 2016.
From February 16, vehicles without FASTag are required to pay double toll fee at electronic toll plazas across the country. Making the tags compulsory would also help in ensuring that vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll plazas, as the fee payment would be done electronically.
Gadkari said new vehicles have FasTags fitted in them, while the government has said it will give free FASTags for old vehicles. In December, Gadkari had promised a “toll naka mukt Bharat (India devoid of toll barriers)”.
The GPS system will be obtained with the help of Russia and the toll charges will be directly deducted from the user’s bank account, the minister had said.
In February, Gadkari’s ministry had made automatic toll plaza payment system FASTag mandatory. The government had said the system would help promote digital payment of fees, reduce waiting time and fuel consumption, and provide for a seamless passage through fee plazas.
The Transport Ministry had mandated FASTag in “M and N” categories of vehicles. “M” category stands for a vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying passengers. And category “N” stands for a vehicle with four wheels used for carrying goods as well as passengers.

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