Traditional toll booths will no longer exist in India by 2022. Instead, the Government will start to apply the GPS-based toll collection system for better convenience and faster toll transaction process.
Toll booths are built to collect fee and road tax from road users. However, with the increasing vehicle density on Indian roads, these physical toll booths have shown obvious disadvantages. One of the most concerning drawbacks of these toll booths is traffic congestion caused by long lines of vehicles waiting at the toll booths. In the worst case, it would take hours for the drivers to wait for their turns to pay. Good news is that Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari has confirmed that the Government has finalized the GPS-based toll collection system to replace the traditional toll booths by 2022.
By apply the GPS-based toll collection system, the traffic flow will be seamless across the country without the interference of the physical toll booths. At the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week Programme, Mr Gadkari revealed that the Government of India has developed a GPS-based system for toll collection in collaboration with the Government of Russia.
In the current market, most new cars are fitted with vehicle tracking systems as standard. The Government is also planning to install GPS systems to older vehicles. He said, “With the help of Russian Government we have accepted the GPS system and in the next two years we will have a toll collection system running on GPS technology.”
In related news, Gadkari has revealed that the toll collection will reach the milestone of Rs 34,000 crore by this March. He also confirmed that after adopting the new toll collection system, the toll income in the next five year is expected to increase to Rs 1,34,000 crore. According to him, the construction of Mumbai-Delhi expressway is haft-way through and is expected to be completed in the next two years. Moreover, it is also revealed that the land acquisition for the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressive was commenced and the construction is expected to kick off by the end of February next year.
While the integration of GPS technology in the toll collection system will solve the problem of traffic congestion and other hassles of physical toll booths, it is met with criticism with regards to the privacy matter. GPS data is considered private information and should not be given to the wrong hands. This concern is not at all incomprehensible since, in the past, a security breach has occurred to the aadhar system, which has raised the concern about the government’s security system.
Moreover, FASTag, the electronic toll collection system has been made compulsory for all vehicles in India. By January 1 2021, all toll lanes will be shifted to FASTag lanes. That being said, it should be taken with a grain of salt as the deadline for FASTag lanes has been extended several times as many people are not willing to switch to this payment method.