Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the country's about 2 lakh kilometres of highways can be used for laying optic fibre and oil and gas pipes, which will help the road ministry earn additional revenues.
Speaking at INFOCOM 2017, organised by ABP Group and Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises here, the minister said the road transport ministry has around 2 lakh kilometres of highways and it has offered the use of this entire stretch for laying optic fibre and oil and gas pipes.
This could earn the ministry some revenue that can be further utilised for constructing and maintaining roads, the road transport and highways ministry said in a statement.
For building and maintaining a competitive edge over the world, there is a need to leverage technology to get the maximum returns from assets, Gadkari said.
Speaking about the road transport sector, the minister said that very soon the process for driving licences will be entirely computerised.
"The fitness of a person for issue driving licence will be decided through a computer programme with no human interference. This will greatly enhance safety on roads by ensuring that licences are issued only to deserving drivers," Gadkari said.
The statement quoted minister as saying that e-tolling rolled out by his Ministry last year has helped cut down the traffic congestion at toll plazas on the National Highways.
Trucks and other vehicles bearing FASTags are not required to stop at the toll gates, as the toll gets paid electronically through these RFID tags.
The minister said efforts are being made to get more and more vehicles to use FASTags.
"Soon these will be available with vehicle dealers and new vehicles will come with the tags already attached. Besides easing congestion, e-tolling will also help reduce pollution and prevent unnecessary wastage of fuel -- both corollaries of the long wait at toll plazas," he said.