In a bid to ease toll collection on national highways and reduce the waiting period for vehicles, the government will bring Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) mechanism at all toll plazas starting December, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said here today. “All the vehicles coming on the road after December 1 will have a FASTag to ease cashless toll collection on national highways across the country. The total of 7.5 lakh vehicles already have the FASTag. The number would grow to 25 lakh vehicles by March 2018. The total 3,500 lanes on national highways would be made FASTag ready in the coming two months,” the minister said. Gadkari said the revenue generation through FASTag system is pegged at Rs 10 crore at present. “I have asked all the state governments to adopt the new technology and system of my ministry for easy vehicular movement.
The cameras deployed at toll plazas will scan the vehicle and deduct the amount for the distance travelled from the vehicle owner’s bank account. Unlike the existing system of charging a flat amount for all the vehicles,” Gadkari explained. He said the new system will end long queues at toll plazas. The minister also claimed that the GST has benefitted the logistics industry a lot. “Crossing check posts at every state border used to be a major time consuming task. The transporting company had to pay some cess as well. With implementation of GST, some 22 different cess have been abolished,” he said, adding that the logistic cost has been reduced by 15-20 per cent. The logistic cost is on an average 18 per cent in the country whereas in China it is 8 per cent.
“We want to bring it at 12 per cent so India can compete at the international level,” Gadkari said. “The ministry is planning a huge container yard near Vasai on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai highway. The containers would then be carried to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) on huge ferry boats through the sea around Mumbai instead of the roads,” the minister said. He said the government has asked for a land at Vasai to develop a parking area. “The trucks coming from Gujarat to Mumbai will be parked there and transported by a vessel to Mumbai port. It will avoid the road route and bring down the congestion,” the minister said.