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Trucks get tech to beat toll jam

New Delhi, April 14: The central roads and transport ministry is trying to equip all trucks in the country with an electronic tag for toll payment within two years.

Over 75 lakh trucks may get the tag that will facilitate quick exit through toll gates.

The government had earlier constituted a committee under Nandan Nilekani in 2010, whose mandate was to examine all technologies available for electronic toll collection (ETC) and recommend the most suitable one for local conditions.

The objective of ETC, according to the committee, was to ease delays and traffic congestion at collection points by facilitating automatic vehicle identification.

According to the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), the e-tag system can be fully implemented in the next two years. “This will make the whole system transparent and accountable. e-tagging, which is part of the ETC, is a hassle free process of collecting toll,” said S.P. Singh, senior fellow, IFTRT.

Under the system, a tag — priced between Rs 50 and Rs 70 — is fitted in the truck. The owner can put in whatever amount of money he wants at dedicated booths, or even online, and the toll value is deducted when the truck passes through sensors on toll-plazas.

The two core components of the ETC system are radio frequency identification (RFID) transceivers and tags. As the vehicle reaches a toll plaza, the passive tag on the vehicle’s windshield is read by the transceiver installed at the plaza.

The country’s first interoperable RIFD-based electronic toll system was rolled out on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai National Highway recently. The system allows vehicles fitted with electronic tags to sail through six toll plazas automatically. The plaza is at Dahanu in Maharashtra’s Thane district.

The plaza on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai highway is being operated by three different road developers — Larsen and Toubro, IRB Infrastructure and NHAI.

Inaugurating the toll plaza, central road transport minister C.P. Joshi had said the government would roll out RFID-based electronic toll collection on national highways throughout the country by 2014.

 
 
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