Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that the government is conducting a pilot project to replace toll plazas with automatic number plate recognition system. Under this system, vehicle owners would not need to stop at toll plazas, as the fee would be deducted from their bank accounts.
“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,” he said.
With this new technology, the government wants to achieve two objectives–free flow of traffic on toll booths and pay as per your use, the road transport and highways minister said. Gadkari also said that the government wants to develop India’s public transport system on electricity.
Addressing an event, Gadkari said that after the introduction of FASTags, toll income of state-owned National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) increased by Rs 15,000 crore per year.
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.
Last month, Gadkari said that the government is exploring two options — a satellite-based toll system with a GPS in cars so that the toll directly gets subtracted from the passenger’s bank account and the other option, which is number plates.
“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. There will be no queues and people will get great relief,” the minister had said.