New Delhi: To make the toll collection process at the national highways easier and more transparent, the government will roll out RFID-based electronic toll collection across all the toll plazas on national highways through out the country by 2014.
"We intend to have by 2014 entire country through ETC (electronic toll collection). Nandan Nilekani has suggested RFID card and we have introduced two new pilot projects. By 2014, we will cover entire toll plazas through ETC mode," Road Transport Minister C P Joshi said while interacting with the public on muti-video chat, Google Hangout.
He added that pilot projects have already been launched on some national highways like Chandigarh-Parwanoo on NH-5 and soon it will be launched on the national highway between Mumbai and Baroda.
The ETC systems is based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. For this, a RFID chip-embedded sticker will be put on the vehicles and money will get deducted at the toll plazas automatically, through which the vehicles will pass through.
Money collected from it will be pooled electronically at one place and later, it will get distributed among all toll plaza managements as used by the concerned vehicle.
With the introduction of such technology, the government is aiming to expedite the clearing of traffic at toll plazas and reducing the cash transaction. The technology is widely used abroad.
Currently, vehicles plying on Indian highways have to pay cash at all the toll plazas to pass through.
Noting that about 1.40 lakh persons die in road accidents every year in India, Joshi said that the government has launched a pilot project on Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch of National Highway-8 to provide cashless medical treatment to victims during the during the first 48 hours of the accident.
The government has already signed a MoU with ICICI Lombard last week and has created a corpus of Rs 20 crore for the scheme.
Earlier this month, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had used the same platform to discuss various policy issues with the public.
While Chidambaram had used Google Hangout for public queries on Budget 2013-14, Ahluwalia used to it get a feedback on 12th Five Year Plan and other policy issues.