Mumbai Toll Plaza
The entire toll fee collection system will be made ultra modern

Within a year, all physical toll booths in India will be removed and toll fee collection will be GPS-based, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has revealed.

Addressing the Lok Sabha during the Question Hour on Thursday, the minister disclosed the Central government’s plan to rid India of toll plazas altogether.

With the removal of physical toll booths, Gadkari said, toll fee collection will be done based on GPS imaging of vehicles and the mechanism for the same will be implemented within 12 months.

The same was foreshadowed back in December 2020, when the minister had promised an India devoid of toll barriers. He stated that a GPS system, which will deduct the toll charges directly from the user’s bank account, will be obtained with the help of Russia.

Speaking about FASTag, the mandatory means of paying toll fare in India as of February, on Thursday, Nitin Gadkari said 93 percent of vehicles in the country pay toll using FASTag, while the rest do not, despite having to shell out double the fare at every toll if paid through cash.

The minister said he had asked for a police inquiry into vehicles that do not pay toll using FASTag. He also claimed that cases of toll theft and GST evasion have been reported due to vehicles without FASTag.

In addition, the Union Transport Minister said the government would give free FASTags for older vehicles, while new vehicles will come with FASTag fitted already.

This new GPS-based toll fee collection initiative, while being modern, brings many questions to the fore. Some of it include the fate of people working at toll plazas and about the need for car owners to fit a special equipment to make the GPS-based toll fee payment possible.

Also, the veracity of toll fee collection using such a system might come under the scanner, for FASTag has not been devoid of glitches to date.

Toll Fee Collection
It is not known if people can use pre-paid cards for paying the toll fee in the future