The Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry will launch its electronic toll collection system by October 31, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday. Once in place, commuters across the country’s highways will not have to wait in endless queues to pay their toll tax.
The electronic toll collection system will be based on Radio Frequency Identification tags, called FastTags. Each tag will have a unique code, which will help the toll plaza identify the vehicle and automatically deduct the tax as it drives by. These tags, available both online and offline at toll plazas and designated banks, can be recharged once the balance drops to Rs 0.
Initially, only two toll lanes on a highway will have this system. But officials said eventually they would expand it to all the lanes. “Though 100% of the toll lanes will be equipped with ETC infrastructure, as of now only two lanes will be earmarked for smart tag users,” YS Malik, Road Transport and Highways Secretary was quoted as saying. In the remaining lanes, commuters can pay using cash, cards or e-wallets.
Of the 40,00,000 vehicles on highways, only 6,20,000 have been installed with the smart tags. “Our aim is to get 15,00,000 vehicles installed with the smart tags by March 2018,” Malik said.