No toll on NH projects that have less than Rs 50-cr investment

No toll on NH projects that have less than  Rs 50-cr investment

The Centre on Friday decided to cancel toll collection on national highways (NH) where the investment is less than Rs 50 crore and also to implement electronic toll collection (ETC) system on 350 toll plazas across the country.

Union Minister for Surface Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, who launched the ETC system on the Delhi-Mumbai NH here, said 350 toll plazas across the country will adopt electronic road user charges collection method from December 31.

The government has decided to cancel toll collection on projects with an investment of less than Rs 50 crore. “We have cancelled 27 tolls and in the next one year we will cancel another 45 tolls, we want them to be toll-free,” Gadkari said. 

Under the ETC system, when vehicles affixed with a prepaid “Radio Frequency Identification Device” tag known as FASTag on windscreens, crosses the toll plazas, the applicable toll is deducted automatically from the motorists’ pre-paid account. The prepaid accounts are created at the Central Clearing House (CCH) set up by the banks. 

The minister also said that “FASTag E-Toll collection will remove logistic inefficiencies at toll plazas and has the potential of saving Rs 60,000 crore of fuel bills.”

ETCs have been installed at 55 toll plazas, and their integration with CCH operators has almost been completed on the Delhi-Mumbai route via Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The Central government has issued orders to incorporate ETC lanes as a mandatory clause in the contracts awarded for all highways projects in the future.

At present, there are problems in collecting toll, including lack of uniform rates throughout various sections of the highways, coupled with complaints of overcharging and undercharging. 

To implement ETCs across the country, the ministry will be floating a company, the Indian Highways Management Company Limited.

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