148% jump in FASTag revenue from April to January, says govt
The NHAI’s collection of ₹26,622.93 crore through the electronic toll collection system was the highest it has earned since it was introduced in 2016
NEW DELHI: There was a 148% jump in revenue collected through the electronic toll collection system FASTag between April 2021 and January 2022 compared to the pre-Covid year 2019-20, the Union road transport ministry said on Wednesday.
The National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) collection of ₹26,622.93 crore through the system was the highest since the system was introduced in 2016.
The ministry is expecting the collection to go up to ₹35,000 crore in the year 2022-23.
The NHAI, which manages the FASTag network, earned ₹10,728.52 crore through the system in 2019-20, which went up to ₹20837.08 crore in 2020-21.
Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari told Parliament on Wednesday that till January 31, over 45 million FASTags have been issued.
Giridhar Aramane, secretary of the road transport and highways ministry, said the government has set a target of toll collection to touch ₹50,000 crore by 2025. “As major roads... are getting completed in this calendar year and the next calendar year, the toll revenue is likely to go up to ₹50,000 crore in the next three years. In the fiscal year 2022-23, we are expecting it to go up to ₹35,000 crore.”
Gadkari told Rajya Sabha that as of February 5, over 1.2 million refund cases related to incorrect FASTag deductions have been settled since January 2020. “Under the FASTag programme, refunds are processed after scrutiny and validation by the respective issuer bank, based on the evidence or supporting details provided by stakeholders, such as fee plaza operators/concessionaires, acquirer banks, system integrator, etc.”
Gadkari also informed the Upper House that sections of at least 100 national highways fall in or pass-through forest areas declared as wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, or eco-sensitive zones. He added to minimise the impact of highway development on wildlife, the ministry has issued instructions to implementing agencies to make all efforts to avoid any road alignment through national parks or wildlife sanctuaries even if it requires taking longer routes or bypasses.
“Further, site-specific mitigation measures are being taken in consultation with forest authorities, incorporating one or more of several options as per site requirements like construction of culverts, underpass, overpass (eco-duct), viaduct, tunnel, guard wall, fencing, vegetative barrier, anti-light glare, sound barrier, etc.”
In a separate reply to a question, Gadkari said the ministry has sanctioned highway projects worth about ₹3,36,661 crore during three years until 2020-21. He added in 2020, 47,984 people were killed in 1,16,496 road accidents on national highways.