The Central government is all set to revive the proposal to integrate the toll plazas across the country.
“The proposal was mooted way back in 2000. It, however, has not become a reality,” according to Nagpur-based G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering director Preeti Bajaj.
She was one of the consultants who was appointed to study the ways and means, and the technologies to integrate the toll plazas from Kashmir to Kanyakumari during the NDA regime.
V.R. Siddhartha Engineering College organised a one-day national seminar on ‘Electronic toll collection - trends and challenges' here on Tuesday.
On its sidelines, Ms. Bajaj told The Hindu that the National Highways Authority of India had plans to integrate the toll plazas with the prime objective of plugging the leaks in revenue to the government.
Then there were about 200 toll plazas. With massive creation of infrastructure, the toll plazas increased phenomenally. Now, there would be around 350 to 400 toll plazas in the country. A need for integration of toll plazas arose as the MNCs were adopting different technologies to suit their needs. There were views that a uniform technology, smart cards for road-users, would help in bringing down the revenue losses. For instance, a vehicle at plaza X might have been recorded as passenger though it was multi axle vehicle or a light commercial vehicle. The error could be detected at the next plaza if integration was done, she explained.
Stressing the need for integration of services, Ms. Bajaj said the NHAI was spending crores of rupees to create infrastructure. But, most of it was patch work as different government agencies or private companies had dug up for laying cables. Earlier, she gave tips to students who were working on electronic toll collection project funded by the World Bank. College principal K. Mohana Rao, vice-principal G. Sambasiva Rao, TIFAC Core in Telematics coordinator and Head of ECE department K. Sri Ramakrishna spoke.