Digital transactions adopted at the Kherki Daula toll plaza are not helping commuters as the halting time, which was generally 20 seconds, increased to 55 seconds per vehicle in the last one month, the highway operator said.
There has also been an increase in the number of people paying toll digitally, thereby increasing the burden of the toll plaza employees and leading to congestion.
On an average, 75,000 vehicles pay toll on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway every day and the collection per day was Rs 38 lakh in the last two months. Prior to demonetisation, the toll collected at Kherki Daula was around Rs 45 lakh per day.
“The decision to implement digital payment system was expected to reduce the congestion at the toll but it has surprisingly increased congestion. We are forced to lift the boom barriers as queues become too long due to higher transaction time,” Devender Chahar, assistant general manager, Skylark -- the highway operator, said.
The whole process of swiping the card, punching the pin number, printing slips and receipts has stretched the transaction time, the official said.
Prior to November 8, the day on which demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there were negligible digital payments. However, 8% commuters are now paying through digital means.
On an average, the toll plaza collected Rs 38.42 lakh toll per day during December. Out of this Rs 3 lakh was paid using e-wallet Paytm, highway saathi application, and debit/credit cards.
Adding to the woes, the servers of banks and the mobile application might hand or crash, delaying the payment process. “Recently, there was a ruckus at the Kherki Daula toll plaza because someone was making payments through card and it was taking time. Another commuter was unhappy with the delay,” an official at the toll plaza said.
Last week, several commuters had complained that they were stopped at the toll plaza despite recharging their toll passes. Though money was debited during the transaction, it was not credited to their accounts, commuters alleged.
The authorities are now looking at increasing radio frequency identification and smart tags to reduce the transaction time.