E-toll collection to start from October 27

E-toll collection to start from October 27

Aiming to bring transparency in toll collection, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will commence the electronic toll collection system across national highways from next week.

Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate the Delhi-Mumbai stretch electronic toll collection (ETC) facility to commuters on October 27.   The similar facility will be introduced in many sectors on the same day as the ministry had already installed ETC at 55 toll plazas and their integration with Central Clearing House (CCH) operators.
 
A pilot project for Interoperable ETC system of 10 toll plazas between Mumbai (Charoti) and Ahmedabad was successfully tested recently.
The ministry has issued orders to incorporate ETC lanes as a mandatory clause in the contracts awarded for all the highway projects in future, said an official from the ministry.

For projects where the contract does not provide for such lanes, the government will ask the developers to sign a supplementary agreement, official added.

For implementing ETC across the country, the ministry has set up new firm Indian Highways Management Limited with equity participation from NHAI (25 per cent), concessionaires (50 per cent) and financial institutions (25 per cent). The firm will provide services including toll transaction, clearing house operations help desk support and setting up of call centres. The ministry had roped in ICICI Bank and Axis Bank to provide the central clearing house facilities.

The government also made required amendment in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 for fitment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag on vehicles for ETC.

With the toll collection system facing several problems, including complaints of overcharging and under reporting of the toll fee by collection agents, the Centre in 2010 had constituted a high level committee headed by Nandan Nilekani, who was also heading the Unique Identification Authority of India for make suggestions for interoperable ETC system. Based on Nilekani committee report, the Ministry is implementing the ETC system across the country.

New toll collection system not only ensure uniformity in toll collections on all section of national highways, but also ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of toll as per the notified rates, sources said.  National Highways collected Rs 11,387 crore as toll in fiscal 2013-14. Of this, ₹3,398 crore was collected on public or government-funded roads.

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