Chaos at Laddowal Toll as FASTag glitches continue
Commuters alleged that the problem compounded further after the scanner installed at some of the toll booths could not read the FASTag, which led to a traffic jam
The government’s decision of dedicating merely one lane for commuters paying toll in cash while reserving 10 other lanes for FASTag users boomeranged badly as a huge traffic jam was witnessed at Laddowal toll plaza on January 18, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded.
The commuters alleged that the problem compounded further after the scanner installed at some of the toll booths could not read the FASTag, which led to a traffic jam.
Tarun Ghai, assistant professor at SPM College, Mukerian, who remained stuck at the toll plaza for nearly half an hour said that utter chaos prevailed at the toll plaza ever since the government has implemented the FASTag rules.
“Rules are meant for convenience of the people, not for their harassment. We request the minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari to take action against the toll and NHAI staff for lax implementation,” said Ghai.
The Laddowal toll plaza on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar national highway (NH-44) has 11 lanes on either side.
Ten on each side are dedicated for vehicles using FASTag and only one lane (on each side) facilitates commuters making cash payment.
Dr Jasminder Singh, another commuter, said some of the FASTag lanes were choked as people who did not have enough cash in their FASTag wallet were asked to recharge at the toll barrier which led to jam.
“Why should other commuters suffer for someone else’s fault. Instead of causing a jam at the toll plaza, the authorities should take all such vehicles on the side and deduct the money manually so that the others do not suffer,” said Jasminder.
The Union ministry of road transport and highways had set December 15, 2019, as the deadline for mandatory FASTag on vehicles. Later, the date was first extended to December 31 and then finally to January 15, 2020.
Despite repeated attempts NHAI project director at Ambala Colonel Yogesh Chandra was not available for comments.