New Delhi: People travelling on roads can now get real time updates on expected waiting time at toll plazas and toll fee to be paid through SMS alerts as soon as they hit the national highways. The features are a part of mobile app Sukhad Yatra launched by road minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday. Gadkari said the move will empower commuters to share their experience and help the road ministry improve public services on national highways.

The public-friendly app developed by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) enables users to report accidents, enter road quality information and locate facilities like restaurants, petrol pumps and hospitals on national highways. The app can also be used to buy the FASTag, an RFID-enabled tag to promote automatic deduction of toll charges which would let commuters pass through the toll plaza without stopping for a cash transaction.

Gadkari also launched toll-free number -1033 to enable users to report an emergency. The service has also been integrated with various ambulance/tow away services along the road to ensure a rapid response time in an emergency. The service is supported by multi-lingual support and user location tracking features to provide users with accurate and responsive complaint resolution.

The minister announced the road ministry’s plan to start at least one model driving training centre in each district of the country for which financial assistance of up to Rs1 crore will be provided. The scheme is designed with an objective of creating employment and meeting the requirement of HMV (heavy motor vehicle) and LMV (light motor vehicle) drivers in the country. It is also aimed at inculcating the habit of road safety, like behavioural and attitudinal changes among drivers. A training course will be conducted for drivers who carry dangerous/hazardous goods. Agencies willing to open such centres shall be required to provide infrastructure facilities like land, class rooms and simulators etc.

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