Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday that the government is conducting pilot projects to replace toll plazas with automatic number plate recognition system, enabling the deduction of fees from the bank accounts of the vehicle owners.
Gadkari was speaking at the Mindmine Summit where he said that after the introduction of FASTags, toll income of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has increased by Rs 15,000 crore per year.
He said, “And now, we are going to launch automobile number plate technology (Automatic Number Plate Reader cameras) by which there will be no toll plazas,” without giving further details.
The average waiting time for vehicles at the toll plazas was eight minutes in 2018-19. With FASTags introduced during 2020-21 and 2021-22, the average waiting time for vehicles has come down to only 47 seconds.
The Union minister had said last month that the government is now looking at two options – a satellite based toll system where the GPS will be there in a car and the toll will be directly subtracted from the passenger’s bank account, while the other was through number plates.
He said, “We are in the process of introducing GPS instead of FASTag while using satellite and on the basis of which we want to take the toll. Technology is also available on number plate and there is good technology available in India.”
“We will select the technology. Though we have not taken an official decision, in my view on the number plate technology there will be no toll plaza and there will be a sophisticated computerised digital system by which we can give relief. There will be no queues and people will get great relief,” Gadkari added.