New system tested to remove barriers at toll plazas on Delhi-Meerut Expressway
Vehicles could soon zip past the toll plazas on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway [DME] without halting to pay as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has successfully tested a system that can read FASTags and deduct the toll.
The authority is currently testing toll-collection through the automatic number plate readers (ANPRs), which automatically reads vehicle registration plates at entry as well as exit points and compute the toll according to distance travelled. The vehicle will be required to stop at the exit point to pay the toll. The new system, which will be the first in India, is expected to remove this as well.
“We are also testing a new setup which will automatically detect vehicles with FASTags and will read the registration plate of the vehicle at both ends and automatically deduct the toll. The barriers at the exit point will remain open. In case of non-FASTag vehicle, the barrier will not open,” said Mudit Garg, project director from NHAI.
“This facility has passed tests conducted in the last seven days at two lanes on each side at the three toll plazas in phase 4 of the DM. No vehicle passes through the new setup without detection.”
The DME connects Delhi to Meerut over a stretch of about 60km with about 10km in Delhi under phase 1 of the project.
The phase 2 spans 19.8km from UP-Gate to Dasna in Ghaziabad while 32km phase 4 is an access-controlled expressway of six lanes and connects Dasna to Meerut.
“Initially, the FasTags were issued on the basis of chassis number of the vehicle and not linked to registration plate. Through our ANPR mode, we are reading the registration plates for determining distance travelled by the vehicle. So, only few of such vehicles have issues while passing the new setup at tolls. But we will resolve it soon. The new setup will be made operational once we start tolling for DME,” Garg added.
The phase 2 and 4 of the DME were opened for regular passenger movement in April but is yet to toll its users.
The entire DME stretch has several entry/exit points like the ones at Akshardham in Delhi besides the ones at Indirapuram, ABES College, Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Bhojpur in Ghaziabad and a final at Kashi toll at Partapur in Meerut.
The officials familiar with development said that a team from the Centre is likely to arrive soon for inspection of the DME stretch, especially the phase 4.
“Once, the team conducts inspection and submit report, the tolling is likely to start. They will inspect the new systems installed on the expressway and examine functioning,” the officer added.
The NHAI has already made it clear that no two-wheelers will be allowed on expressway lanes of the DME. In case they do, the ANPRs will be used for getting the registration number of vehicle and violations will be sent to respective district police for issue of chalans.
At present, the phase 1 sees almost 120,000 passenger car units (PCUs, a measure of traffic that takes into account different vehicle makes) per day while it is about 60,000 in phase 2 and in range of 35,000-40,000 for phase 4.