Toll revenue to swell to Rs 1 lakh crore per annum in next five years: Gadkari
Of the total 1.4 lakh km highways under NHAI, 24,996 km of highways currently are under the toll ambit and the length will swell to 27,000 km by the year-end
India's toll revenue is likely to swell to Rs 1 lakh crore annually in the next five years on the back of initiatives like electronic toll collection programme, which is being implemented pan-India to remove bottlenecks, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said.
The minister said that of the total 1.4 lakh km highways under NHAI, 24,996 km of highways currently are under the toll ambit and the length will swell to 27,000 km by the year-end.
The minister said that from December 1, 2019, onwards, toll payments will be via FASTag only under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme, the flagship initiative of the ministry which is being implemented pan-India to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic.
Besides, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stress for transport system reforms, the GST Council has accorded in-principle approval for integration of GST EWay Bill system and a pact has also been inked.
"Our toll revenue is Rs 30,000 crore per annum... As we are constructing more roads, we will move forward with the target that in the next five years, the income from tolls rise to Rs 1 lakh crore every year. If we get such revenues, we can get loans from banks and raise more money from markets and invest in more projects," Road Transport, Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Gadkari said.
Talking on the sidelines of a conference on "One National One Tag - FASTag - Aadhaar for a Vehicle" to roll out the process for having a unified electronic system across the country, Gadkari said there was no dearth of resources and 75% of the projects under NHAI were viable for financing by banks.
The cashless system will not only save time but also result in huge savings to the GDP by reducing delays at toll plazas and cutting down on vehicle fuel.
Addressing the conference, Gadkari said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been giving a lot of emphasis on large scale transport reforms. He said the unified and nation-wide inter-operable RFID-based tag for vehicles is a major step in this direction.
The minister further said that efforts are being carried out to enable usage of FASTag for making various vehicle related payments apart from toll payments, such as fuel payment, parking charges, etc. He said that the FASTag is being positioned as the 'Aadhaar' for a vehicle.
He also launched a prepaid NHAI Wallet for FASTag.
He said electronic toll collection will not only minimise time but will also result in higher security as photos of passengers can be taken at toll plazas.
The minister said the integration of GST E-Way Bill system will also result in massive reforms.
The minister said that integration of EWB system with FASTag will help revenue authorities track the movement of vehicles and ensure that they are travelling to the same destination as the transporter or the trader had specified while generating the E-Way bill. The supplier/ transporter will also be able to track their vehicles through SMS alerts generated at each toll plaza.
Besides, the minister said there are plans to build 2,000 bus ports pan-India.
A number of MoUs were also inked between State road transport corporations and and Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL) for bringing toll plazas in states under National Electronic Toll Collection programme.
Under the National Electronic Toll Collection programme of the ministry, toll collection at national highways toll plazas is done through RFID based FASTags. However, collection at state highways toll plazas is done either manually or through other tags. This leads to inconvenience for road users.
The scheme offers participating state authorities/agencies shorter turnaround time by allowing them to be a part of the robust FASTag solution architecture which already supports about 6 million tags with daily 10 lakh transactions.
Under the scheme IHMCL is providing financial assistance for 50% of the CAPEX cost of installation of ETC infrastructure at two lanes on each toll plaza subject to a maximum of Rs 20 lakh and also bear part of the ETC programme management fee.