GPS Will Be Compulsory For All Cars, Trucks, Buses? FASTags, Toll Plaza No Longer Needed?

GPS-based FASTags being mandatory for all cars.
GPS-based FASTags being mandatory for all cars.

The government made FASTags mandatory from February 15 and now it is looking to make GPS mandatory for all cars. Within a year, all physical toll booths will be dismantled, with GPS-based FASTags being mandatory for all cars.

During the Lok Sabha Question Hour, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that all new vehicles would be equipped with FasTags and that the government will provide free FASTags for older vehicles.

“I want to assure the House that within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. It means that toll collection will happen via GPS. The money will be collected based on GPS imaging (on vehicles),” Nitin Gadkari on Thursday during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha said.

The Government Will Focus On Real-Time Monitoring

Gadkari said some people get away with not paying the toll and thus GST evasion is common when FASTags are not fitted in vehicles. With the introduction of a GPS-tracker in every four-wheeler, the government can keep track of the defaulters. 

When toll collection switches to GPS-based monitoring, it will be mandatory to have an approved GPS module installed in the vehicle, and the location data from this GPS module will have to be shared with toll-collection authorities, effectively the government, for the system to work. To put it another way, the government would be able to track a car on any Indian road in real-time.

“It looks like they don’t want to leave a record. Now, I have called a police inquiry (on people not using FASTags).” He further noted that 93 per cent of the current vehicles pay toll using FASTag. However, some people have not adopted the FASTag system which was introduced in 2016, despite having to pay a double toll.

The Reason Behind GPS Tracking

Usually, FASTags are not installed in cars, therefore cases of toll theft and GST evasion are common. But with the new GPS tracking system, the government will be able to track all defaulters with the implementation of GPS trackers in four-wheelers.

This could be achieved by the use of low-power GPS tags embedded in FASTags that are detected by sensors, or by the use of an authorized GPS module mounted in the vehicle. The GPS modules would be costly thus they should be planned properly.

If the government makes mandatory GPS monitoring for vehicles, it would be easier to abolish all toll booths. This will be accomplished by the use of GPS-based FASTags, which will be standard equipment in all new vehicles. The government has declared that all owners of old vehicles would get free GPS-based FASTags. 

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