Road commuters in the country will soon have the option of making their toll payments through mobile phones or tablets and can avail this service by downloading the application which is set to be available on Android, iOS and BlackBerry platforms.
“We have asked the company that is providing the application to test it at our toll plazas and they are to start the pilot on the 114-km-long Tumkur-Chitradurga section of NH-4,” said a senior road transport ministry official.
The application called ‘m-toll’ has been developed by ConnectXcite Mobi India Ltd and will be available for download from December-end.
“The pilot will begin from December-end and the app will also come at the same time. The pilot will be done in two phases. We will start the test with our vehicles initially and move to vehicles using the toll plaza regularly in the second phase,” said Pankaj Chaturvedi, Country head for ConnectXcite in India.
Road users will need to download the application on their mobile phones or tablets and fill in their details. The server, which will be installed at the toll plazas, will detect their mobile phones and the money will be automatically deducted.
“Road users can make the payment through their pre-paid phone balance, post-paid phone account, credit cards, net banking and even cash-based scratch cards that every concessionaire will be authorised to sell,” said Chaturvedi.
Every payment made through other modes, apart from the scratch card sold by the toll plaza operator, will reach the toll plaza operators account in 24 hours from the time payment is made.
“In case three people, with m-toll on their mobiles, are travelling together in a car, all will get an indication to opt for payment. The money will be deducted from the account of the mobile that opts for it. In case no one opts for payment, money will be deducted from the oldest registered mobile phone,” Chaturvedi further explained.
He added that the registered mobile owner will be verified personally in case the handset being used to make payment switches off due some issues.
To ensure smooth passage for commuters at toll plazas, the road transport ministry is also doing a pilot on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
A committee under Nandan Nilekani has suggested introduction of RFID cards for smooth passage on toll plazas at national highways.
Unlike the mobile system, RFID requires a chip-embedded sticker to be put on the vehicles and money gets deducted at the toll