Govt proposes to replace toll plazas with GPS-based system by next year
26 March 2021
With the FASTag-based toll collection making toll collection at several toll plazas more cumbersome rather than easing the movement of vehicles, the centre has decided to do away with toll plazas altogether and introduce a GPS-based toll collection from next year.
Addressing a press conference in the capital, minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the government was looking to do away with toll booths in the next year. This, he said, will be replaced with GPS imaging-based toll collection.
FASTag has been made mandatory for all vehicles, and double toll is levied if a vehicle does not have FASTag.
Gadkari informed the Parliament that 93 per cent of vehicles have FASTag, and the remaining 7 per cent are yet to get one.
"I want to assure the House that within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. It means that toll collection will happen via GPS. The money will be collected based on GPS imaging (on vehicles)," Gadkari said during question hour in the Lok Sabha.
FASTag, was launched in 2016, and was made mandatory for all vehicles, with the final deadline on 16 February 2021. All vehicles without a FASTag pay double toll at electronic toll booths.
Gadkari informed the House that he has instructed that a police enquiry be carried out for vehicles which do not pay toll using a FASTag. There are cases of toll theft and GST evasion if FASTags are not fitted in vehicles, he said.
The ministry of road transport and highways had decided that all lanes in fee plazas on national highways would be declared as "FASTag lane of the fee plaza" with effect from 16 February.
As per NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicle without valid, functional FASTag entering the FASTag lane of a fee plaza shall pay a fee equivalent to two times the fee applicable to that category," an official statement said.
The ministry had mandated fitment of FASTag in 'M' and 'N' categories of motor vehicles with effect from 1 January 2021.
Category 'M' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying passengers, and the category 'N' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying goods, which may also carry persons in addition to goods.