Queuing up at toll plazas on highways may soon be a thing of the past for motorists, as the road transport and highways ministry is planning to put in a new sophisticated 'common toll technology' by the middle of 2011.
''The government will roll out common toll technology by the middle of next year using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The use of RFID tag in all vehicles will be made mandatory,'' union road and transport minister Kamal Nath said, adding that the new system would cost car owners Rs70-80.
Speaking at an AIMA conference in Kolkata on Wednesday, today, Nath said his ministry was in discussion with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to fix the RFID tag in all the vehicles across the country, which would enable motorists to simply drive through without stopping at the toll plazas. This is the system followed in economically developed countries, where a car owner can buy a pre-paid card which gets adjusted on use at every toll gate.
Nandan Nilekani, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India, has been entrusted with the project of implementing a common toll technology across the country, Nath said.
Nilekani, who was also present at the function, said that RFID tag would enable the toll booths to identify and detect vehicles from a distance and toll charges would automatically get deducted without stopping the vehicles. This would enable further free flow of traffic, he added.
However, neither Nath nor Nilekani mentioned whether the technology would be rolled out across the country at one go or in phases.