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Buy a smart card to pay tolls all over India

The government is likely to decide on a new common toll collection system for highways by July.

The government is planning to launch a system using technology that will enable a commuter to buy a smart card for use at all toll plazas. Crossing toll plazas is currently is a time-consuming process as the commuter has to pay many times to complete the journey on a highway stretch.

"We want a system which is modern yet user-friendly. We want a technology common for the country. We cannot have different technologies in different states," Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath said at a conference here.

The government has set up a committee, headed by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman Nandan Nilekani, to identify the system that can unify toll plazas across India. The committee will submit its report in the next three months.

"We set up the committee under the guidance of Nandan Nilekani to identify what is best in toll technology for India. In next three months, the committee will come up with its findings and then we will decide on the new toll technology common for India," Nath said.

The new toll technology will help integrate the back-end software of all toll plazas. At present, the toll plazas are connected only to the central server at the headquarters of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) but not with each other.

According to estimates, the government is losing over Rs.1,500 crore annually due to leakages in toll collections. (IANS)

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