e-toll at all 360 plazas by April: Gadkari

Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) All the 360 toll plazas in India will change over to e-toll system by April, Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.

“We have already put this project on fast-track and expect the system to become operational before April,” Gadkari told the media during the ongoing ‘Make In India Week’ here.

Gadkari said a Special Purpose Vehicle will be formed to implement the project and the introduction of e-toll will drastically reduce waiting time at the toll plazas, which will lead to huge savings in fuel cost.

About the status of national highways in the country, he said the total length had increased from 96,000 km to 152,000 km and would hit the key milestone of 200,000 km by April-May. In Maharashtra, road length has increased from 7,000 km to 22,000 km.

“Stalled road projects entailing expenditure of Rs.380,000 crore have been revived and a Rs.100,000 crore contract order for roads in the north-east region has been issued,” the minister added.

He said the central government planned to promote inland water transport in a big way.

“On the river Ganga, the ministry is building three multi-modal hubs at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal, with plans to create 30 ports on that stretch and another overall 500 water ports around India,” Gadkari said.

The government also planned to invest Rs.80,000 crore to modernise major ports, besides building new major ports at Colachal in Tamil Nadu, Sagar in West Bengal and Dahanu in Maharashtra.

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