The National Highways Authority of India proposes to replace manual toll collection at highway toll plazas with electronic toll collection (ETC), a nationwide automated collection system.
This change over will help to eliminate waiting time of vehicles and save fuel worth Rs1,000 crore per year. The
savings in fuel will far outweigh the initial cost of Rs 100 per vehicle that the system requires from
''Currently, there are close to 525 toll plazas, operating on national and state highways in India, says CRISIL Research.
It said over 20,000 vehicles cross these plazas daily, each queuing up for approximately 5-10 minutes awaiting their turn to pay the toll fare. Each vehicle consumes almost 0.5-1.0 litre of fuel in an hour. Collectively, these vehicles spend around 1,800-3,600 hours at toll plazas, which accounts for a daily wastage of Rs30-60 million and annually, Rs10 billion,'' says Ajay D'souza, head, CRISIL Research.
The ETC system, based on radio frequency identification (RFID), comprises a wireless on-board unit (OBU) fitted into a vehicle and a stationary roadside unit (RSU) placed at the toll plaza. The OBU is, by design, compatible at toll stations across the country.
The RSU can sense an OBU even as a vehicle moves at 50km per hour, and automatically deduct toll from the owner's pre-paid toll account with a central clearing-house. The automated collection promises to eliminate waiting time and ease congestion at toll plazas.