No more waiting at toll plazas from December, Nitin Gadkari announces plans for fast 'cashless' national highways

The government announced its plans to ease toll collection on national highways by bringing in electronic toll collection mechanism at all toll plazas starting December.

Published: 08th November 2017 06:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2017 06:18 PM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: The government on Wednesday announced its plans to ease toll collection on national highways by bringing in electronic toll collection (ETC) mechanism at all toll plazas starting December.
“All the vehicles coming on the road after December 1 will have a FASTag to ease cashless toll collection on national highways across the country. 7.5 lakh vehicles already have the FASTag. The number would grow to 25 lakh vehicles March 2018. 3500 lanes on national highways would be made FASTag ready in coming two months,” Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said while stressing on digitisation and cash-less initiatives of the government.
“The FASTag is fetching revenue of Rs 10 crore every day. It is expected to grow by 30 per cent by March 2018,” the minister said.
The government is taking several measures that would save fuel and time, Gadkari said and described the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as one such measure.
“The GST has benefitted transporters in multiple ways. The check posts have been done away with. This has cut down the travel time for trucks by around 20 per cent. This feat alone will save fuel of around Rs 1.5 lakh every year per truck,” the minister said. He added that after implementation of GST the logistics costs have come down to only 10-12 per cent of the goods.
“The surface transport ministry is coming up with several new initiatives to cut down the number of trucks coming on roads especially the big cities,” the minister said describing one such project near Mumbai.
“The ministry is planning a huge container yard near Vasai on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai highway. The containers would then be carried to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) on huge ferry boats through the sea around Mumbai instead of the roads,” the minister said.
The port is also investing in building a new rail link between Manmad near Nashik and Indore in Madhya Pradesh. This will help cut down on road transport and establish new rail link for faster and cheaper transportation of goods to and from the port near Mumbai, he said.
The minister addressed the press conference as part of the “anti-black-money-day” program of the BJP. 
Gadkari argued that those who have been troubled by demonetisation are the ones whose businesses thrived on black money are complaining and opposing the most. The demonetisation has helped the government to track the black money as it has come to banks and the trail has been developed, Gadkari said adding that 17.73 lakh cases of cash transactions not matching with the IT profiles of the individuals too have come to fore.

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