The sight of a long congestion at a Toll Booth ahead can ruin any good roadtrip. All of us, at some point or the other in our life, have experienced clogging at toll booths for hours. In what came as a great news, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that the Government has finalised GPS-based(Global Positioning System) toll collection to ensure seamless movement of vehicles across the country.
He said this while Addressing the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week Programme. He revealed that the Government of India has finalised a GPS-based transaction system for toll collection, in association with the Government of Russia.
While now all commercial vehicles are coming with vehicle tracking systems, the Government will come up with some plan to install GPS technology in old vehicles, he said. “With the help of Russian Government we have accepted the GPS system and in the next two years we will have a toll collection system running on GPS technology,” Gadkari said on the sidelines of an event. The Minister expressed hope that the toll collections may reach INR 34,000 crore by coming March. Gadkari informed that by using GPS technology for toll collection, the toll income in the next five years will be INR 1,34,000 crore. He also revealed that the Mumbai-Delhi expressway was near 50 percent completion with the road expected to be completed in the next two years. He added that road acquisition for the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway had also commenced. The construction of the road is expected to start by end-February 2021.
While it does seem like good news for us but this system might have many loopholes in it and the authorities will have to really make sure that the system works fluently. One of the major concerns regarding this system is privacy. If our GPS locations get into wrong hands, it could prove disastrous. We have already seen a security breach in the aadhar card system and the Government will really have to increase its security levels in order to prevent that from happening again.
In other related news, the government of India has made FASTag mandatory on all cars, and post 1st January 2021, all toll lanes will be converted to FASTag lanes. That said, the deadline for this has been extended multiple times now, and a lot of people have been reluctant to switch to this automatic, electronic mode of payment.