Russia offers India electronic system to collect toll

Russia offers India electronic system to collect toll

Proposal on agenda of Modi-Putin summit, Russia ready to assemble in India devices to be placed on trucks for tracking by satellites, collection of toll 

Moscow already conveyed to New Delhi its offer to share its experience in implementing Platon. (DH File Photo for representation)

Russia is keen to help India lay out an electronic toll collection system, which will run on satellite navigation technology and cover vehicles plying on highways across the nation.

Moscow already conveyed to New Delhi its offer to share its experience in implementing Platon, an electronic system to collect toll from transporters for plying trucks on the highways across Russian Federation.

The details of the proposal may be discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold the 19th annual India-Russia summit in New Delhi on Friday, sources aware of the preparation for the meeting told the DH. 

If New Delhi finds the system suitable to bring in, Russia is also ready to arrange assembly of the devices, which are placed on the trucks for tracking by satellites and electronic collection of toll, in India, said the sources who asked not to be identified. 

The Platon, which was introduced in Russia in 2015, is the largest electronic toll collection system in the world and it now covers over two million trucks – the ones with gross vehicle weight over 12 tons – plying on 50774 kilometers of federal highways. 

When a truck having the onboard tracker plies on a federal highway in Russia, the Platon automatically determines its position using Global Positioning System (GPS) or its Russian equivalent, Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS).

It keeps on updating the location data periodically and sends it to a data processing centre through cellular networks. The data for every 24-hour period is analyzed and the toll is calculated automatically and debited from the account of the transporters as the truck keeps moving. 

Sources in New Delhi said that the electronic system helped the truckers avoid wasting time waiting in the queues before toll charging gates on the highways across Russia and it could also do the same in India. 

It was during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov in Moscow last month that Russia first offered to help implement the electronic toll collection system in India. New Delhi is likely to ask for more details about the proposal during Prime Minister’s summit with Russian President at Hyderabad House in the national capital on Friday. 

One of the pacts India and Russia are set to sign after the summit will lay the framework for cooperation in road transport and road safety. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the proposed Memorandum of Understanding, which envisages long-term and effective bilateral relationship of communication and cooperation in road transportation and road industry and intelligent transport system.

It will also set the stage for Russia’s support in planning and administration of road infrastructure and road network management, transport policy, technologies and standards for the construction and operation of highways in India.