BENGALURU: Road users across the country coughed up Rs 1. 5 lakh crore as toll charge in less than five years — between April 2018 and December 2022 —with Uttar Pradesh topping the table, data from the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) shows.
Analysis of the data shows that the toll charge in the current fiscal (2022-23) is all set to be the highest in the last five years. Of the nearly Rs 1. 5 lakh crore collected nationally, the biggest share came in the 2021-22 fiscal with Rs 33,881. 2 crore. However, this figure is all set to be surpassed in the current fiscal as the first three quarters alone have seen a collection of Rs 33,489. 1 crore.
Astate-wise analysis shows that UP, India’s most populous state, has netted the highest collection with Rs 17,242. 9 crore, followed by Rajasthan (Rs 16,565. 9 crore), the largest state in terms of landmass. These are followed by Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Together, these five account for 50% of the total toll collected.
The increase in collection in the past couple of years is attributed to the full-fledged implementation of FASTag — an electronic toll collection system operated by National Highways Authority of India — which experts say has helped increase efficiency. While the first pilot for FASTag was done in 2014, it was introduced in some parts of the Golden Quadrilateral network, including BengaluruChennai, in 2015, and made mandatory on all national highways in late 2019. But its full-fledged implementation happened only in 2021-22.