The Government of India will roll out Electronic Toll Collection across all national highways by December 2014. This proposal has been put forth earlier and will finally see light of day by the end of this year which will come as a blessing to commuters and at the same time streamline toll collection work.
A new company, Indian Highways Management Company Ltd. has been appointed to overlook the development. IHMCL entered into a contract with ICICI Bank, which was selected from a total of 24 commercial banks that had bid for Electronic Toll Collection.
Commuters can buy Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) tags with a one-time payment of about Rs 300, after which they can top-up using their online bank account, credit card, or manually at any toll plaza on National Highway. Once they are at a toll plaze, all they have to do is flash this RFID tag in front of the ETC and money will be automatically deducted from your RFID tag.
To be introduced in a phased manner, Electronic Toll Collection will be initiated across the Delhi Mumbai National Highway and the Golden Quadrilateral route by August and along the North South East West corridors by October 2014.
Electronic toll collection will not only reduce waiting time at each toll plaza but will also go a long way in making the system more transparent while providing more accuracy to collection of traffic revenues specially in the current scenario in Maharashtra where toll plazas have faced political agitation and have been vandalized.
ICICI Bank will be the sole body to collect the toll charges and distribute funds to developers. This will help to not only manage funds systematically but will also go a long way to keep a check on vehicle thefts or for detection of crimes.