Electronic toll collection on SHs from Apr 1: DCM

Electronic toll collection on SHs from Apr 1: DCM

There are 161 state highways, covering 18,476 km, in Karnataka.

All toll plazas on state highways will have electronic toll collection system from April 1, 2020, Deputy Chief Minister Govind M Karjol said on Monday.

The DCM, who also holds the public works portfolio, told reporters here that the state government had signed an MoU with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to implement the electronic tolling system in the state.

At present, toll plazas on all 32 state highways have the system of manual collection of toll. These toll plazas will be converted to electronic toll plazas, where road users have to pay the toll charges through electronic mode using FASTag, instead of cash. The works on converting the system from manual to electronic will be completed before April 2020, he said. FASTag is a simple-to-use, reloadable tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets vehicles pass the toll plaza, without stopping for cash transaction.

Karjol said about Rs 12 crore is required for integration of each toll plaza with FASTag and funds will be shared equally by the state and the Centre. There are 161 state highways, covering 18,476 km, in the state, the DCM said.

Political motive should not be attached to raids by enforcement agencies against some state Congress leaders in recent weeks, Karjol said.

“In 70 years of the country’s independence, the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate have raided many people. These constitutional bodies are working within the law. It is not good to attach political motives to such raids,” Karjol said. The income tax officials have raided not only Congress leaders, but also members of other parties. It is not fair to blame the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi for these raids, he said.

“I-T raids had happened even during the Congress regime. Should we say they were done with a political motive?” he said. Asked about Congress
leader Siddaramaiah’s offer to take back rebel Congress MLAs into the party fold, Karjol said, “I don’t want to comment on internal matters of the Congress.”