“The Electronic Toll Collection System is a step towards the realization of the Prime Minister’s vision of `Digital India’, said the Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari, while launching the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) System for Delhi-Mumbai highway via Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, here today. The system would evolve into newer technologies and facilities like touch-card, debit card etc. in the near future which will contribute to the nation’s growth, he added. He dedicated the system to the nation, commemorating the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The FASTag is a passive RFID tag affixed at the centre of the windscreen. All you have to do is Recharge your Tag Account and drive through FASTag Lanes at the toll plazas, and appropriate toll would automatically be deducted from your balance. SMS alerts will be sent on the registered mobile number giving information on toll fee deducted and low balance.
Currently FASTag services are available at 24 toll plazas on Delhi-Mumbai section, and simultaneously, work is in progress to implement FASTag on all National Highways. Also, FASTag shall be extended for fuel payments and entry fee payments at State Border check posts in near future. FASTag is available at Point-of-Sales set up at certain bank branches. Currently, ICICI Bank is offering FASTag, and soon FASTag from Axis Bank will also be available. Very shortly such Point of Sales will be set up at toll plazas also.
The new ETC system will save commuters time, fuel, money and reduce pollution. This will go a long way in taking forward the nations growth especially when it is extended to other roads across the country.
ETC has already been installed at 55 Toll Plazas and their integration with Central Clearing House (CCH) operators has almost been completed. A pilot project for interoperable ETC system of 10 toll plazas between Mumbai (Charoti) and Ahmadabad has already been tested and seamless ETC on this section is successfully in operation.
In order to remove the bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of toll as per the notified rates, Government had constituted a committee on Electronic Toll Collection technology for use on National Highways under the chairmanship of Shri Nandan Nilekani. This Committee`s mandate was to examine all technologies available for ETC and recommend the most suitable technology for local conditions. Considering user convenience, rate of acceptance and ease of implementation, the passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based on EPC, Gen-2, ISO 18000-6C Standards for ETC technology was adopted by the Government.
A web based portal has been developed through which National Highway users may easily access information related to toll fee and other details viz. applicable toll charges and concessions available for local vehicles near any toll plaza in the country, date of toll fee notification, commercial operation date, effective & due date of toll rate revision, name and contact details of key personnel on toll plaza, details of nearest police station, hospitals etc. in addition to facilities available near Toll Plaza(s). The portal is GIS based wherein Toll Plazas may be easily searched on a map.
State-wise list of all toll plazas along with their name, location, number of the National Highway and section/stretch will be displayed in this section. User can also type “name” of a toll plaza to get information of the toll plaza entered on the screen. User can click on “Toll Plaza name” to get further details of that toll plaza. A facility is also available to ascertain the Toll Plaza Location as well as the amount of fee that a user shall have to pay while travelling through a selected stretch of National Highway. Toll rates can also be accessed through mobile phones by sending SMS to 56070 with predefined text messages.
To standardize the process of data collection and creating of central data repository, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways envisaged automating the process of traffic surveys on National Highways and Indian Highways Management Company Ltd. (IHMCL) has been entrusted to execute this project. This project includes conducting seven-day traffic surveys, twice annually, at more than 1600 location on all National Highways across India. These traffic surveys would be conducted using portable Automatic Traffic Counter and Classifier (ATCC) systems, which do not require any human intervention. Also the video of the Vehicular movement during the survey shall be captured and used for verification of survey data. A Control Centre would be established for the purposes of creating central repository of traffic data and for compilation, verification and analysis of data generated from traffic surveys. Through this project, crucial and reliable traffic data and analysis will be available at the fingertips, which can be further used for better infrastructure planning and traffic management.
The launching ceremony was attended by Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways Shri Krishan Pal, Chairman, NHAI, Shri R.P. Singh, President, NHBF, Shri V.C. Verma and other dignitaries.