Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, has revealed that toll collection on the highways has been temporarily suspended to reduce inconvenience and save time for emergency services.
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, has announced a temporary suspension of toll collection across the country. This move, the minister says, will not only reduce inconvenience to the supply of emergency services but also save time. That said, with the nation-wide lockdown and state borders being closed, the density of vehicles on the roads and highways is quite low.
India has close to 500 toll plazas across the country. A few months back, electronic toll collection was made mandatory in the country for all vehicle users. With the help of numerous Points of Sale (PoS), the government issued nearly 2 crore FASTags across the country. Reports suggest that in February, a digital collection of toll fees via FASTag amounted to Rs 40 lakh per day. Even though the government has made FASTags mandatory for all vehicles, it hasn't been adopted effectively as yet. In fact, a lot of toll collection checkpoints haven’t been updated and continue to be manually operated. With that in mind, the suspension of toll collection should safeguard executives at the toll from being exposed to the deadly virus as well.
Coming to the coronavirus and the automotive section, manufacturers have put a halt to the production line. While in the United States some carmakers have come together to increase the production of ventilators and respirators. So far, the only manufacturers in India to make a notable contribution are Mahindra and MG. While the former has promised to provide support in manufacturing ventilators, the latter has donated Rs 2 crore to government hospitals and healthcare authorities.