Nitin Gadkari: The government wants to end long queues at tollbooths and introduce new methods.

The government is exploring new technology to replace toll booths in the country and the new system will be rolled out within the next six months, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Responding to further questions during Question Time in the House of Lords, the minister said the toll booths had created many problems, such as congestion and long queues, which the government wanted to end.

He answered members’ questions about toll booths within 60 km in the same direction, which is not in line with the law. The government, he said, is now considering two options: a satellite toll system, where GPS will be in a car and the toll will be deducted directly from the passenger’s bank account, and the other option is registration of vehicle number plates.

“We are introducing GPS instead of FASTag as we use the satellite and want to collect tolls based on that. The technology is also available on the license plate and there is good technology in India,” he said. “We will choose the technology. Although we haven’t made an official decision yet, I believe that when it comes to number plate technology, there will not be a toll booth, but a sophisticated computerized digital system that will allow us to give aid. There will be no queues and people will be very relieved,” the minister also said.

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But for that, he said, we have to submit a bill to Parliament, because if someone doesn’t pay the toll, there isn’t yet a law to punish them. Mr Gadkari said it is in the process of selecting the best technology for toll collection and will also introduce important legislation in Parliament.

“Within six months, I will do my best to make this happen because it is the need of the moment. It’s important for the people of the country and for solving the traffic problem,” he said when asked when the new toll system would come into effect. Mr Gadkari said new technology number plates had been introduced and it was mandatory for the manufacturer to have new number plates.

He explained that for the exact time the car is driven on the toll roads, you have to pay a toll and only that amount is debited from your account. “We haven’t made a decision about the choice of technology yet. But as soon as possible and within a month, we will choose the technology and use all the advanced technologies in the world that will be useful to the people and there will be no queues or traffic problems,” he told the gathering.

“As soon as possible, we will solve the problem of toll booths and find a solution to this problem,” he said. Mr Gadkari also mentioned that after the introduction of FASTag which is one of the most notable contributions for the country, the toll revenue increased significantly to Rs 120 million in a single day. To date, 5.56 million FASTags have been issued and their penetration rate is 96.6%, he said.

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