Mumbai: Union Minister for Shipping, Highways and Road Transport Nitin Gadkari today announced that e-tolling system on all the 360 toll plazas in the country will be operational by April this year. “We have already put this project on fast track and we expect the system to be operational before April this year,” Gadkari said, addressing a press conference at the Make In India Week Media Centre in the city today.
The minister said a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed to implement this project. Gadkari said the introduction of e-tolling will reduce waiting time at toll plazas and save cost and fuel.
The minister also said that his ministry is now focusing on Hybrid Annuity and Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) models for the development of road projects. “Road projects worth Rs 380,000 crore that were stalled have been revived and Rs 1,00,000 crore contract order has been issued in the North East region” Gadkari added.
The minister said that India’s national road highway length has been raised to 152,000 km from 96,000 km and is expected to cross the 200,000 km milestone by April-May. In Maharashtra, the road length has been raised to 22,000 km from 7,000km, he said.
Stressing on the advantage of water transport and its cost advantage, Gadkari said the government plans to promote inland water transport in a big way. “On Ganga, our ministry is building 3 multi-modal hubs at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal. We plan to create 30 water ports on this stretch and overall 500 water ports across the country.”
The government will also invest Rs 80,000 crores on the modernisation and mechanisation of major ports, besides building 3 new major ports Colachal in Tamil Nadu, Sagar in West Bengal, Vadhawan at Dahanu in Maharashtra.