Commuters at Kherki Daula don’t have to maintain minimum FASTag balance
Commuters at the Kherki Daula toll plaza, and other toll plazas across the country, will not have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance in their SMARTags, as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday decided to remove the mandatory minimum threshold amount for the FASTag account, which was paid by the user in addition to a security deposit.
The payment of toll fees through FASTag will become mandatory from February 15. The NHAI, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said that the decision has been taken in order to increase the FASTag penetration, ensure seamless movement of traffic and reduce avoidable delays at the toll plazas.
The problem, NHAI said, arose because the issuer banks had fixed a minimum amount value for the FASTag account due to which users were not allowed to pass through the toll plaza despite having sufficient balance to pay the toll. The authority said that this caused vehicles to get stuck at the toll plazas.
“It has been decided that the users will now be allowed to pass through the toll plaza, if the FASTag account/ wallet balance is non-negative. After crossing the toll plaza, if the account balance becomes negative, the bank can recover the amount from the security deposit, which should be replenished at the time of the next recharge by the user,” the direction issued by NHAI read.
NHAI officials said that penetration of FASTags was around 80% at Kherki Daula and this step will benefit commuters.
A senior official of the Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL), the concessionaire, said that removing the minimum balance norm will help commuters as a large number of them have functional FASTags but without minimum balance. “This will reduce jams and delays at the plaza,” he said.