“Toll income will be atleast ₹30,000 crore this year. As we are constructing more roads, we will move forward with the target such that in the next 5 years, the income from tolls and other forms of income equals ₹1 lakh crore. If we get such revenues, we can get loans from banks and raise more money and invest in other projects," he said.
Of the total 1.4 lakh km national highways, 24,996 km are currently under toll, and in the next five years toll collection will increase as 75,000 km road would be tolled, the minister said.
Gadkari also said that the mandatory use of FASTag-- is an electronic toll connection device installed in the vehicle to enable drivers to drive through toll plazas without having to stop--from December 1 will not only encourage cashless payments at toll plaza, decongest national highways, thereby ensuring seamless movement of vehicles, but also reduce pollution and logistics cost.
FASTag is attached to the windscreen and uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable direct toll payments while the vehicle is moving. The toll fare is deducted from the bank account linked to FASTag. Toll payment can also be done via pre-paid wallets or instant digital payments system Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
Towards this, out of the 500 toll plazas on national highways, 85-90% of them have the required equipment for electronic tolling. The remaining 10-15% will be covered by November-end. As of September, 35% of total toll collection on national highways is being done electronically via FASTags, with 1 million transactions on a daily basis and as much as ₹24 crore is collected digitally on daily basis, Ashish Sharma, Member NHAI said.
Gadkari further said that integration of FASTag with e-way bill system under Goods and Service Tax (GST) system will help revenue department officials track the movement of vehicles and ensure that they are travelling to the same destination that the transporter or the trader had specified while generating the e-way bill.