Nitin Gadkari is an Indian politician and the current Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources in the Government of India. Gadkari has also earlier served as the President of the BJP from 2010-2013.
Recently in an interview, he mentioned that the government has announced its plans to ease toll collection on national highways by bringing in electronic toll collection (ETC) mechanism at all toll plazas starting this December 2018.
To ease toll collection on national highways across the country, all the vehicles coming on road would have a ‘FASTag’ on it. As good as 3,500 lanes on national highways would be made FASTag ready in coming two months.
Some highways have already started the implementation and phase wise rollout is going as planned. Gadkari while stressing on the same, said that this is just one amongst many digitisation and cash-less initiatives of the government.
How this system works –
Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system in India uses passive Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID).
- RFID tag called FASTag is mounted on the vehicle’s windscreen.
- As the vehicle reaches the toll plaza, roadside RFID reader reads the tag.
- This unique number is sent to a central computer.
- Applicable toll amount is deducted from a prepaid account that is linked to that particular FASTag.
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This initiative is promised to greatly enhance user experience and enable fuel saving worth Rs 86,000 crore. I am really excited and looking forward to this move by the government as this might ease our traffic woes at the toll plaza and as per promise, save fuel too. But, I wonder if in a nation like India, with so many cars, highways and population, is this even logistically possible. While I remain hopeful yet skeptical at the same time, do let me know what you think of this announcement.
Priyanka Dalmia Acharya is a freelance writer and a blogger, who’s also in the process of writing a book. She’s also an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction books.
(The opinions and views expressed in the blog are solely of the individual and not of the publication.)