New Delhi: In an attempt to provide relief to travellers from traffic snarls on National Highways, the government on Friday announced to introduce Electronic Toll Connection (ETC) system between Delhi-Panipat sections of the National Highway number 1 from March that connects Delhi-Panipat-Ambala-Amritsar extending up to the Indo-Pak border. 

This system will initially be introduced on a trial basis with an aim of speedy and smooth flow of traffic.

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has been asked by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to replace the current cash payment method with this new system.

After Nandan Nilekani committee’s report on electronic toll collection, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in March 2011 had formed an apex committee headed by Dr YK Sharma. The apex committee in its report had suggested starting ETC system on Delhi-Panipat highway on a trial basis from March 2012.

According to sources, NHAI is planning to install over 250 ETCs on national highways. Based on the feedback, it will expand the system to other Highways of the country.

The NHAI is also contemplating the idea of introducing Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) in this new system to improve efficiency in toll collection.

C Kandasamy, Director General (Road Development) and Special Secretary to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said that a chip will be installed on the windscreen of the cars and the moment they cross the toll the amount will be deducted. The owners can later check the amount on the internet and can recharge the chip.

The NH 1 highway is a vital link to northern part of the country including states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana with Delhi and rest of the country.

NHAI is also planning to introduce this system on NH7 connecting Bangalore city and Bangalore International Airport.