The government is working to amend the toll policy for national highways which will allow the commuters to pay only for the stretch they travel and not for the entire distance between two toll booths. The change in the framework is according to the the budget announcement for the fiscal year 2018-19 in which finance minister, Arun Jaitley spoke about introducing the 'pay as you use' toll system. The system is based on the closed tolling system which is already in use on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway and will also be implemented on the Western Peripheral Expressway.
The government will take three months to revise the policy and will also be looking at building the toll plazas outside cities in order to set a timeframe to end tolling on highways which are less than four-lane and expressways. According to the highway ministry, the policy will be comprehensive and will likely include electronic mode of toll collection by setting up necessary facilities and offering permanent discount in the fee which commuters pay using smart tag.
"While it's easy to implement in the case of new greenfield roads, it would be tough in the case of existing roads which have unlimited entry and exit points and these are not regulated," said a ministry official. Currently, toll plazas are built at a distance of 60 kilometers and the commuters are required to pay for the entire stretch even if they have traveled for lesser distance. Officials also said that the existing policy of not building a toll plaza within 10 km of municipal limit is also becoming a major issue as municipal areas are growing.