Gadkari Announces End of Toll Collection on Highways, Introduces Satellite-Based System

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New Delhi, 28th March 2024: In a significant development, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced the impending end of toll collection on highways, with plans for a new satellite-based toll collection system set to be implemented soon. Gadkari shared this update during an interview with ANI, outlining the government’s vision to streamline road travel and save time and money for commuters.

“The era of toll collection is coming to an end, and we are transitioning to a satellite-based toll collection system,” stated Gadkari. Under this system, toll charges will be automatically deducted from commuters’ bank accounts based on the distance traveled on the roads. Gadkari highlighted the transformative impact of this initiative, citing the drastic reduction in travel time between Mumbai and Pune from 9 hours to just 2 hours.

Emphasizing the significance of the Bharatmala Pariyojana, a flagship project aimed at developing approximately 26,000 km of economic corridors, Gadkari underscored its role alongside the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) and North-South and East-West (NS-EW) corridors in facilitating freight traffic movement. He expressed confidence in the project’s potential to revolutionize India’s transportation infrastructure by 2024, aspiring to elevate the National Highway road network to par with global standards, akin to the United States.

The implementation timeline for the new toll collection system was previously announced by Gadkari in December, targeting a rollout by March 2024. Efforts to streamline toll plaza operations and reduce waiting times have been communicated to the World Bank. The introduction of FASTag, an electronic toll collection system, has already led to a significant decrease in average waiting times at toll plazas, now reduced to a mere 47 seconds, down from the previous average of 714 seconds.

Furthermore, data indicates a notable increase of approximately 10 per cent in construction and expansion activities on National Highways between April and November of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period from 2011 to 2023. However, there has been a 52 per cent decline in the allocation of new construction projects this year.