Forget FASTag, govt to roll out satellite collection

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Forget FASTag, govt to roll out satellite collection
New Delhi: Toll booths on highways could become a thing of the past with the government working to introduce satellite-based toll collection for vehicles.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today said the ministry would introduce a satellite-based toll collection system, under which, the toll amount would be charged according to the actual distance traversed by the vehicle, and the money would be deducted directly from the user’s bank account. The minister, however, did not clarify when the new system would be introduced.

Gadkari was interacting with reporters in his Lok Sabha constituency Nagpur from where he is seeking re-election. Sources said the technology would allow barrier-free movement of cars, which won’t have to stop for toll payment. The photo of the registration plate of the vehicle would be captured and the toll amount debited based on the actual length of the highway traversed by that vehicle.

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This would replace the radio frequency identification-based FASTags that were rolled out in 2016 and made mandatory from January 2021. A total of 8.13 crore FASTags have since been issued, and a penetration of 98 per cent achieved.

The introduction of new technology would entail every vehicle registering for the Global Navigation Satellite System of toll collection by installing a tracking device linked to a constellation of satellites. The tracking device would enable distance-based collection of toll. The device would also be linked with a wallet from which the toll would be deducted.

Geo-fencing of national highways would also have to be done to capture vehicle’s coordinates. The authorities would also have to amend the Fee Rules to allow distance-based toll collection.


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