Traffic snarls were witnessed at the Dasna toll plaza as the collection of toll on national highways resumed from December 3. Officials said that most customers paid in cash despite the availability of card swipe machines.
After the demonetisation of the old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes on November 8, the government had suspended toll collection at all government-run tolls in the country.
According to official estimates, the Dasna toll plaza witnesses the movement of nearly 15,000 vehicles per day and makes an average collection of over ₹8 lakh. The toll plaza caters to those moving from Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida towards Hapur, Moradabad and further towards Uttarakhand.
RP Singh, project director, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said, “The congestion at the toll plaza was not beyond the normal level, it is witnessed every day at the plaza. We had procured six smart card machines and are in the process of procuring more as the plaza has 10 gates. Only 30 customers, from midnight to 12 noon on December 3, availed the facility of swiping their card to pay the toll. The rest paid in cash.”
Movement of vehicles towards Hapur was hampered for a short time as commuters had an altercation with the toll staff over paying the charges with the scrapped ₹500 notes. But, no major incident was reported.
According to the directions by the ministry of road transport & highways on December 1, the scrapped ₹500 notes will be accepted till midnight of December 15, but only on the purchase of FASTags and where the toll charge exceeds ₹200. Those using highways were also advised to carry adequate change and to make use of electronic payment systems.
“A number of customers were still forcing us to accept the scrapped ₹500 note, but we refused to accept it in instances where the toll was below ₹200. We had enough change and vehicles passed through without any hindrance,” Rahul Kumar, a toll staff, said.
The toll staff accepted the scrapped ₹500 notes from those who were purchasing the monthly pass for ₹235 and also from those using bigger vehicles and had to pay a toll in excess of ₹200.
“The toll plaza is proposed to be shifted to Nizampur in Hapur under the Delhi-Meerut Expressway project. The work for 6-laning Dasna-Hapur section is already awarded and the process will take one year to complete,” Singh said.