Is the government going to introduce a new toll collection system? | Explained

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Economy, Topic: Infrastructure, Issue: Infrastructure- Road and Highways

Context: Road Transport and Highways Minister announced plans for a new highway toll collection system.

Proposed Highway Tolling System:

  • Involves fitting vehicles with On-Board Units (OBUs) for tracking.
  • GAGAN, with 10-meter accuracy, to map vehicle locations.
  • Toll rates will be assigned based on highway coordinates and distance traveled, deducted from a linked OBU wallet.
  • Aims to enable pay-as-you-use tolling and eventually barrier-free movement.


  • Recovering toll from non-compliant users presents a major challenge.
  • Lack of barriers makes it difficult to stop non-compliant vehicles.
  • Vehicles traveling without an OBU, deliberate OBU switch-off, or misuse of OBUs.


  • Requirement for OBUs in vehicles need to be mandated by regulations.
  • The new tolling system to coexist with FASTag-based toll collection.
  • Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 to address privacy concerns.
  • Use of GAGAN satellite system instead of GPS will ensure data remains within India.
Prelims Connect (Technology in News):

On-board units (OBUs) are electronic devices that are installed in vehicles. They can collect and transmit data for various applications.

The GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system: developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), together with Airports Authority of India (AAI), to deploy and certify an operational satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS).


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