The Kherki Daula toll plaza that is a bottleneck on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway will have three dedicated lanes for smart tag users from May 2.
Although all 23 lanes on this toll are equipped to read the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, the vehicles with the tags and the vehicles that have to pay cash end up in the same lane, defeating the purpose of having tags.
HT had highlighted this issue in its ‘Taking a Toll’ campaign that aims to build public opinion on shifting or removing the Kherki Daula toll plaza.
The three dedicated lanes will allow vehicles that have Pass Tags and the newly launched FASTags to pass through the Kherki Daula toll plaza. “The FASTags can be used by vehicle owners to pass through 303 toll plaza of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) across the country,” Ashok Sharma, project director of the NHAI, said. The dedicated lanes at the Kherki Daula toll plaza will also have marshals and other measures to ensure that cash-paying vehicles do not enter the tag lanes.
FASTags have a validity of five years, and these can be recharged as per requirement. As an incentive, the users will be given 10% cash back for using the tags in 2016-17. The Pass Tags are those smart tags that the highway concessionaire MCEPL has issued to Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway users and such vehicles will also be allowed to pass through the dedicated lanes.
“We want the people to cooperate and follow lane discipline so that there is no chaos when lanes are dedicated to tag users from May 2,” TC Rao, CMD of highway operator Skylark, said .
The concessionaire has issued 16,000 smart tags to the expressway users. Out of these, 8,000 are free tags given to residents of 31 villages, who are exempted from the toll.
CEO of MCEPL S Raghuraman said that despite all lanes having the RFID reading system, vehicles mixing on all lanes causes congestion at the plaza. But, this measure will help to reduce jams, he said. “We want to encourage cashless transactions at the toll as it will reduce our cost and help save the commuters’ time,” he said.