Citizens' Issues
Electronic toll collection may save Rs1,000 crore annually on fuel costs says CRISIL

The automated collection of toll promises to eliminate waiting time and ease congestion at highway toll plazas

The National Highways Authority of India proposes to replace manual toll collection at highway toll plazas with electronic toll collection (ETC) system. CRISIL Research said it expects this changeover to eliminate waiting time for vehicles and save fuel worth Rs1,000 crore per year. The savings in fuel will far outweigh the initial cost of Rs100 per vehicle that the system requires from vehicle owners.

“Currently, there are close to 525 toll plazas, operating on national and state highways in India. Over 20,000 vehicles cross these plazas daily, each queuing up for approximately 5-10 minutes awaiting their turn to pay the toll fare. Each vehicle consumes almost 0.5-1.0 litre of fuel in an hour. Collectively, these vehicles spend around 1,800-3,600 hours at toll plazas, which accounts for a daily wastage of Rs3-6 crore and annually, Rs1,000 crore,” says Ajay D’souza, Head, CRISIL Research.

The system is also equipped to detect defaults in toll collection which occur either due to insufficient funds in a toll account or a faulty OBU by activating an alarm to inform authorities, without stopping the flow in traffic.

“Apart from reducing fuel wastage, the ETC system can plug leakages in toll collection. Toll leakages occur when a vehicle does not pay the requisite toll or when booth operators under-report collections. Based on the current industry estimate of about 10% leakage, annual losses for road developers are estimated to be approximately Rs1,200 crore. An automated tolling system can effectively address this area of grave concern for road developers and lenders with exposure to road projects,” said Prasad Koparkar, Head, CRISIL Research.

The system will require the government to invest in two major system components to enable collections to flow to toll operators – a central database where the clearing-house will store account information, and networks that will connect toll plazas to the database. Revenues from tolled stretches will flow directly to the involved operators via the central clearing-house. The system is likely to come up in a phased manner, with pilot projects on dense highway stretches.

The ETC system, based on radio frequency identification (RFID), comprises a wireless on-board unit (OBU) fitted into a vehicle and a stationary roadside unit (RSU) placed at the toll plaza. The OBU is, by design, compatible at toll stations across the country. The RSU can sense an OBU even as a vehicle moves at 50 km per hour, and automatically deduct toll from the owner’s pre-paid toll account with a central clearing-house. The automated collection promises to eliminate waiting time and ease congestion at toll plazas.

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COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

5 years ago

Yes, this is the way to go.

Air India owes Rs2,310 crore to oil companies

Till the end of first fortnight of September, Air India has a total due of Rs2,310.65 crore, of which the cash-strapped national carrier owes Rs1,563.67 crore to IOC, Rs409.82 crore to BPCL and Rs337.16 to HPCL, civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi informed the Lok Sabha

New Delhi: State-owned air carrier Air India and its subsidiaries owe Rs2,310 crore to the oil marketing companies, reports PTI quoting civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi.

“Till the end of first fortnight of September, Air India has a total due of Rs2,310.65 crore, of which the cash-strapped national carrier owes Rs1,563.67 crore to Indian oil Corporation, Rs409.82 crore to Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Rs337.16 to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

He said that in order to help the national carrier, a Group of Ministers (GoM) last month agreed to grant a credit period of three months as sought by airline’s management.

“The credit period, however, was agreed without exempting Air India from payment of interest,” the minister said.

Facing liquidity crunch, the national carrier has a debt of Rs22,000 crore as working capital loan and around Rs21,000 as aircraft acquisition loans.

In reply to a separate question, the minister said Air India has withdrawn its services from 14 routes, which were not profitable.

The routes are Mumbai-Sharjah, Calicut-Doha-Bahrain, Mumbai-Vadodara, Kolkata-Ahmedabad/Jaipur-Kolkata, Hyderabad- Mumbai, Chennai-Calicut, Chennai-Mumbai-Kuwait, Hyderabad- Cochin-Coimbatore-Hyderabad, Kolkata-Hyderabad-Kolkata, Bangalore-Singapore, Chennai-Coimbatore, Mumbai-Nairobi, Chennai-Dammam and Kochi-Agatti (which was later reinstated).

The minister also informed the House that due to the pilots’ strike from 27th April to 7th May, Air India has suffered a revenue loss of Rs200 crore.

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2G accused move HC against shifting of trial to Tihar jail

Around 15 defence lawyers mentioned the matter before a bench of justices SK Kaul and Rajiv Shakdher and sought its intervention on the decision to shift the trial saying it would cause a lot of inconvenience to the lawyers and the accused

New Delhi: The accused in second generation (2G) spectrum case today approached the Delhi High Court challenging its administrative decision to shift the trial in the case from its present venue at Patiala House courts to the high-security Tihar jail, reports PTI.

Around 15 defence lawyers mentioned the matter before a bench of justices SK Kaul and Rajiv Shakdher and sought its intervention on the decision to shift the trial saying it would cause a lot of inconvenience to the lawyers and the accused.

“This case is not related to any terrorist activity where there is a security threat. It is only a case of economic offence that does not warrant this decision,” one of the defence lawyers said in the packed courtroom.

“Moreover, bigger courtrooms are already available in the Patiala House court complex where the trial could be conducted,” he said.

Justice Kaul responded to the plea by saying, “I will personally meet the acting Chief Justice and take up the matter...

“Suppose, you do not get adequate relief, then you can always move a writ petition on the issue,” he observed.

The court also said that the decision to shift the trial was an administrative one which had been taken by the acting chief justice, and he should be consulted on it. The bench asked the lawyers to approach it again later today.

The special CBI judge conducting the trial in the matter had yesterday announced shifting of the trial to Tihar jail from 24th November in accordance with a Delhi High Court notification of 21st November.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 9 (6) of the CrPC, 1973, the acting chief justice and judges of this court (Delhi High Court) have been pleased to order that the trial of the 2G spectrum cases shall be held in Tihar court complex, New Delhi, according to law,” the notification, issued by the high court, read.

All the accused, including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, have opposed the move.

“I do not know what is happening in this country. The shifting of the trial to Tihar jail would create a lot of problems as we will not be able to properly have legal consultation with our counsel.

“Till now, the lawyers could reach Patiala House courts from the Supreme Court or the high court within 10-15 minutes, but it would not be possible for them to reach Tihar jail as they would have to leave all their other cases,” Mr Raja had said yesterday after the judge had apprised them of the decision to change the trial venue.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today granted bail to five corporate honchos—Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surrendra Pipara, arrested for their alleged roles in the case.

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