Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadhkari told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that he will construct 26 green express highways by 2024, and accordingly reduce the travel time between cities. After the highway construction is completed, travel time from Delhi to Dehradun, Haridwar and Jaipur will be reduced to two hours, he further added. He said Delhi to Chandigarh would be two and a half hours, Delhi to Amritsar four hours, and Delhi to Mumbai will be 12 hours. He said he guarantees that roads in India will be like those in the United States.
He further shared that the Transport Ministry is also looking at many new technologies to replace toll plazas in order to minimize traffic snarls at these points.
He said that the government is looking at new options for the collection of tolls. First, he said, is a satellite-based system through which GPS in a vehicle will help the toll to be directly deducted from the vehicle owner’s bank account. Second, he explained it will be a computerized system by which they can use the software to deduct the toll.
He stated that the system will automatically register the point where the vehicle enters a toll highway and also, register the point where it exits. Toll will be accordingly deducted from the owner’s account for the kilometers the car drove on the highway. He added that the ministry is still to work upon the technology to be used, but it will be selected as soon as possible, mostly within a month. Gadkari then talked about FASTag, an electronic toll collection system that has contributed significantly to toll collection, Gadkari said that 5.56 crore FASTags have been issued till date and the average toll collection through FASTag is Rs 120 crore.