Indian highways to soon be free from toll booths. Here's the plan
The mandatory introduction of FASTags have helped motorists in numerous ways - from seamless movement across the country's toll plazas to automatic toll fees deduction. Much shorter queues and digital transactions have ensured time as well as money is saved. But the government has even bigger plans for the times to come with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari recently highlighting how toll plazas themselves would be removed from national highways in the country, and be replaced with cameras which would read number plates for automatic toll deduction.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Gadkari highlighted that toll plazas would be replaced by cameras which would capture the number plate of each vehicle and the necessary toll amount would be auto deducted from the bank account linked to that number plate. “The plan is to remove toll plazas and put cameras, which will read these number plates and toll will be deducted from the account directly. We are also doing a pilot of this scheme," he said.
Company-fitted number plates on vehicles are essential for this plan to work and Gadkari admits that erring motorists would need to be penalized. “There is no provision under the law to penalise the vehicle owner who skips the toll plaza and does not pay. We need to bring that provision under the law. We may bring in a provision for cars which do not have these number plates to get them installed within a certain period of time. We will need to bring in a Bill for this," he explained.
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The process of toll deduction through number plate-detecting cameras could further quicken passage for motorists, something that has already improved courtesy FASTags. FASTags are mandatory for all vehicle categories and any vehicle without it needs to pay double the toll amount in cash at toll plazas on national highways. But while the idea was to have an absolutely congestion free movement of traffic, there still are congestions on several toll plazas owing to factors such as damaged RFID stickers or low balance.