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Electronic toll collection on all national highways by March 2014: Joshi

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C P Joshi today said that his Ministry was planning to roll out RFID-based electronic toll collection (ETC) across all the toll plazas on national highways in the entire country by March 31, 2014.

“The RFID technology shall expedite the clearing of traffic at toll plazas and the need of carrying cash shall also be eliminated when toll plazas shall be duly integrated with each other throughout India," he said in his keynote address at a discussion on "India's Highways--Next Gen Tolling and Corridor Management" here.
 
Dr Joshi said the Government's mission was to create a quality highway network across the country and make the system transparent and responsive.
 
"In our bid to do so, I am glad to share that by the end of this financial year we would complete construction of nearly 3000 kilometers of National highways, which is a record till date," he said.
 
“Along with constructing highways we are also re working our systems to sync with the times. To make the system transparent, we first introduced e-tendering, followed it up with pilot project to electronically collect toll," he sai.
 
He said the Government was also working on a project to mark the national highway network on maps, making it compatible with mobile devices and even have apps for highway network. 
 
On the RFID-based ETC system, he said the Ministry had started a pilot project in April last year at Parwanoo on National Highway (NH)-5.
 
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“The pilot is being carried out successfully and concessionaires have been requested to work out necessary modalities with the ETC solution providers and banks for setting up of Central Clearing House (CCH)," he said.
 
Dr Joshi said a few more stretches had also been selected for ETC implementation. They are Mumbai - Ahmedabad, Chennai- Bangalore and Gurgaon – Jaipur – Beawar. 
 
“I would like to assert that by March 31, 2014 we aim to implement ETC across all the toll plazas on our national highways," he said.
 
He said that, for implementation of the nationwide electronic toll collection system, the Ministry had recently constituted the Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) with equity partnership from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) (50%), concessionnaires (25%) and institutions (25%).
 
ETC is a system that enables collection of toll payments electronically, allowing for near-non-stop toll collection and traffic monitoring.
 
ETC utilizes vehicles equipped with transponders (electronic tags), wireless communication, in-road/roadside sensors and a computerized system for uniquely identifying each vehicle, electronically collect toll, and provide general vehicle and traffic monitoring and data collection. 
 
“Government of India is also amending the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 for fitment of RFID tag on vehicles by the automobile manufacturers," Dr Joshi said.
 
“Our endeavor will be to develop policies and systems for happy user experience on Indian highways through better safety measures and lower waiting time at the toll plazas," he added.
 
NNN
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