'FASTags will save ₹20,000 crore per year on fuel': Gadkari
- "Toll collection through electronic tolling has reached 93 per cent during the last fortnight after the FASTag was made mandatory," Gadkari said.
The usage of FASTags across national highways, mandated by the Centre, will help save ₹20,000 crore annually on fuel and boost the country’s revenue by nearly ₹10,000 crore, Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.
Gadkari was speaking at the launch of a live monitoring system for toll plazas across national highways to measure traffic queue length and waiting time on a real-time basis in a bid to provide immediate management response to reduce bottlenecks and improve efficiency of mandatory FASTag usage.
The live monitoring system will measure the ‘Daily Congestion Index’ for each plaza as well as the overall congestion across the national highway network. It will also provide real-time details of high peak hours’ traffic at toll plazas.
"There is zero waiting time at 80 per cent of the total toll plazas. Toll collection through electronic tolling has reached 93 per cent from 80 per cent during the last fortnight after the FASTag was made mandatory," Gadkari said.
Highlighting the advantages of the live monitoring of toll plazas, the minister said that in a recent incident in Mumbai, where a vehicle was found parked outside an industrialist's house, the officials were able to detect the toll plaza through which the vehicle entered and who was sitting in it. Based on the information, the police is now investigating the case, he said. The Union minister was referring to the incident when a vehicle with explosive material was found parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in South Mumbai last month.
“It is a simple help to improve traffic congestion problem at toll plazas/city roads/highways by using central monitoring system along with bundle of analytics and quick decision-making outputs. This is eventually likely to facilitate saving the commute time, improve customer experience, save fuel wastage cost and reduce carbon footprint. It uses several technologies like Satellite Imagery, GIS, Remote Sensing along with a proprietary algorithm to remotely monitor the congestion status on the roads. The frequency sample of data can be as low as even 1-5 minutes depending on the requirements,” the ministry said in a statement.
Gadkari also launched a rating system for highways across the country. The ministry has also released the ratings for 18,668 kilometres of completed 4/6 lane National Highway stretches covering 343 toll plazas. Gadkari said 11,035 kilometres of national highways have been constructed during this year.
“This has been done by the NHAI under MoRTH which has taken the initiative to improve its accountability towards road users who pay a user fee for the use of developed National Highways. This initiative has been taken as per the vision of improving the quality of public services. The fundamental objective of highway rating is “minimum time with maximum safety in stress-free environment” from highway users’ perspective,” the ministry said in a statement.
Each toll plaza of a highway will be judged based on three major criteria - efficiency, safety and user services. These criteria are further divided into a total of 39 parameters which include average speed, road condition and facilities for public, service road, delay at the toll plaza, accidents, incident response time, wayside amenities and general cleanliness, among others.