Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday inaugurated a high-tech toll plaza system, based on radio frequency identity (RFID), in Delhi that will allow cashless collection of municipal toll tax and environment compensation charge (ECC) from commercial vehicles.
A senior South Delhi Municipal Corporation official said 12 of the 13 toll plazas, equipped with nearly 250 ultra-modern cameras, and sensors, have been operationalised and the last one at Ghazipur Main will be done in next couple of days.
“Nearly 40,000 commercial vehicles have already been installed with RFID tags and slowly we are targeting to cover most of the commercial vehicles,” SDMC’s Additional Commissioner Randhir Sahay said.
He said the SDMC will continue to accept the charges in cash “for a month” from now, but beyond that “the transaction will be done only through an online payment gateway made for it in collaboration with the State Bank of India”.
The project has been installed and commissioned at a cost of Rs 80.95 cr, the SDMC said.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation was the nodal agency for execution of this project.
The 13 toll points across Delhi are: Tikri, Badarpur-Faridabad Main, Badarpur-Faridabad, DND Flyway, Aya Nagar, Ghazipur Main and Ghazipur Old, Kalindi Kunj, Kapashera, Kundli, Rajokri, Shahdara Main and Shahdara Flyover.
Lt Governor Baijal termed it a “smart and brilliant project” by the corporation that will not only eventually help reduce pollution, but also help keep out vehicles older than 10 years.
“The use of technology as in this project can also be adopted in other fields, like waste management,” he said.
Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) chairman Bhure Lal and its member and environmentalist Sunita Narain, said, vehicular pollution, particularly from trucks and cars, is a major source of pollution, and this move will help in curbing the number of vehicles entering the city.
Lal said the high-tech system and the software will also help in curbing crime by tracking details of the cars that pass through the toll gates.
Interacting with reporters, the EPCA chairman, when asked about monitoring of commercial vehicles older than 10 years, said, “Such vehicles entering the toll plaza will be scanned and barred from entry as the barrier won’t be lifted. Such cars would then be manually taken our of the lane”.
The new toll system comprises 58 RFID lanes and 33 free lanes. A state-of-the-art central control room has been set up in Moti Bagh to monitor the activity of each toll plaza and information is available and visible for inspection and audit through real-time video feed, officials said.
A web portal has also been set up to enable users to recharge their individual RFID tag accounts and keep track of their transactions.
“There is one-time registration fee and after that the top-up can done through a web portal a mobile app, made especially for it,” Sahay said.
For buying tags, mobile points of sales have been provided a little before the toll plazas and they are also available at entry points.
South Delhi Mayor Sunita, SDMC Commissioner Varsha Joshi, North Delhi Mayor Avtar Singh, and other senior officials of the civic body were present at the event held at the DND Flyway headquarters near the toll plaza, amid a rainy evening.
The Supreme Court on August 22, 2016 had appointed the SDMC as the executing agency for installation of RFID system at entry points to ensure credible ECC collection.
The apex court in its order dated October 9, 2015 had directed that ECC will imposed on all commercial vehicles entering Delhi.
“From available studies, it is known that vehicles contribute between 30-40 per cent of the pollution in the city; of this pollution load from vehicles, commercial vehicles, particularly heavy-duty vehicles contribute 30-40 per cent of the pollution.
“It is for this reason that the Supreme Court had issued directions to limit the numbers of these vehicles, which in turn would reduce pollution,” the SDMC said.