I am sure most car owners have faced this one time or the other – waiting in queue of very slow moving cars at a toll booth. I drive quite frequently from Pune to Mumbai and back – and one of the things that I seriously hate is seeing long queue of cars lined up at the Toll collecting stations. What is even more frustrating is the inefficiency of people collecting Tolls – they seem to be never in a hurry. Long queue’s don’t bother them at all.
Here is the good news – These long Toll station queues will soon become history (atleast thats what it looks like). Road & Transport ministry have announced that India will soon implement a uniform electronic toll collection system on its national highways, increasing the revenue, curbing leakages and ensuring smooth travel across the country.
The new proposed Toll collection system will use RFID ( radio frequency identification ) technology. Once implemented, a person can now travel from Kashmir to Kanyakumari without stopping even once for Toll..wow !
Another reason that I am very optimistic about this becoming a reality is because Indian government had constituted a committee headed by former Infosys chief executive and Unique Identification Authority Chairman Nandan Nilekani for this purpose.
How the new electronic toll collection system will work.
Every car will be given a RFID tag (costing about Rs.100) which will be stuck on the windscreen of the car, while the Toll booth will have a RFID card reader. When any vehicle with RFID tag passes through this booth across the country, the appropriate toll will be debited from the account.
The RFID tag will work similar to mobile prepaid card – where the vehicle owner will have to recharge the card.
This new technology will help in so many ways – There will not be any exchange of cash at Toll booth counter, so no leakages in Toll collection. Additionally, it can serve as a platform for vehicle identification and prove effective in tracking stolen vehicles.
This is a fantastic development – I just hope that it is implemented on time, the deadline for which is set for May 2012.
Your views ?