If you frequently travel on National Highways, you are sure to come across long lines at Toll Collection booths. It slows down the journey tremendously in addition to creating traffic snarls. But this could soon be thing of past.
According to the statement made by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Dr. C.P Joshi – All the toll plazas on Indian National Highways will implement RFID based Electronic Toll Collection system by March 31, 2014.
If you are unaware of Electronic Toll Collection or ETC, it is a system where toll payments happen electronically without the traveler stopping at the Toll collection booth. The vehicle is equipped with RFID based electronic Tags and toll booths are equipped with electronic sensors that wirelessly scan and uniquely identify each vehicle passing through.
You can check out the sample image below which gives you a rough idea on how Electronic Toll Booth works.
Talks of ETC implementation have been doing rounds for past few years, however, there had been no concrete announcement from the Government till now. With statement made by Union Minister, it looks like the implementation will start soon.
How ETC may work in India
In 2010, Government had setup a committee headed by Mr. Nandan Nilekani to see the feasibility of ETC in India. Last year, a successful pilot project was also carried out at Parwanoo on NH-5. Once ETC is implemented, this is how it will probably work.
Every car will be given a RFID tag (with information car details, account number etc) 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. Alternatively, the RFID tag may also have bank account details and once the vehicle passes through the toll booth, the toll may then get directly debited to connected bank account.