Double tolling, automatic deduction of toll major issues for commuters
Gurugram Commuters crossing the Kherki Daula toll plaza have complained to officials of double toll being collected, in cash and from their FASTag accounts, due to errors with the tag readers, while some alleged that toll is being deducted from their FASTag accounts despite them not having crossed the toll plaza.
Also, the wait time during peak hours at the toll plaza has shot up from 15 minutes on January 10 to 20 minutes on January 20, said officials at the toll plaza. Long queues are mostly a result of FASTags not being read at the toll plaza, the toll operator said.
Officials of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Gurugram, said they are constantly monitoring traffic movement at the toll plaza and the time each vehicle takes to cross the plaza. For this purpose, the NHAI has deployed two people to keep an eye on the traffic situation at the toll plaza round-the-clock.
Ram Kesh, site engineer, NHAI, said, “Every one hour, I select one car from (Jaipur-Delhi side) and, using a stopwatch, monitor its movement till it crosses the toll. Now, it’s taking commuters around 20 minutes to go past the toll plaza.”
An NHAI official attributed the increased wait time to poor quality FASTags being issued by different banks, the NHAI official said. Officials of the concessionaire blamed the banks for the money being deducted, claiming that this is due to a technical glitch at their end.
A city resident, Shipra Dave, who was passing through the Kherki Daula toll plaza this week said that she not only paid ₹65 in cash, but also through the FASTag she had in her car. “When I approached the toll booth, the radio frequency identification (RFID) didn’t read the FASTag. I tried to move my car to the left and then right, but the boom barrier remained still,” said Dave.
She eventually had to pay the toll amount in cash. However, moments before she crossed the toll booth, the money was also deducted from her FASTag account.
There are many users, who, like Dave, have had to pay double the toll in such circumstances.
Rishab Singh, a Sector 14 resident, said, “I had balance amount in my FASTag yet the boom barrier was not lifted and I was made to pay in cash too.”
Another commuter, who works in Manesar and has to cross the Kherki Daula toll plaza daily, said that he was surprised to know that on Sunday, the amount got deducted despite him not crossing the toll plaza.
Shailendra Kumar Agrawal, who works in Manesar, said, “It was a Sunday. I was not even in the city, but the toll amount, ₹65, got deducted from my FASTag account for a commute I had not undertaken.”
The toll concessionaire said that these are teething issues with FASTag and they already wrote to the NHAI last December on the low quality tags being issued.
Officials of the Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL), concessionaire for the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, said that commuters can’t blame them as they are not issuing any tags.
S Raghuraman, chief executive officer of MCEPL, said, “We have not given out any FASTag. Different banks issue FASTags and this is the reason the quality of tags is not good. There are numerous manufacturers of FASTags and due to quality issues, some of the tags are not being read by the RFID reader.”
Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI was not available for comment.