Kherki Daula toll plaza: NHAI plans to increase FASTag lanes from 21 to 23
Gurugram: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has planned to increase the number of FASTag lanes at Kherki Daula toll plaza from one in the extended lanes to two in the next few days, raising the total number of FASTag lanes from the present 21 to 23 with one cash lane each on either side of the toll plaza.
FASTag trials are going on at the toll plaza and the electronic toll collection system will be fully implemented from February 15. NHAI officials said that they don’t expect another extension being given to commuters to get FASTags.
The NHAI officials said that more commuters are doing transaction through FASTag and once the collection at the toll plaza goes beyond 80% target, the highways authority will make one more lane in the canopy lanes FASTag compliant.
Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI Gurugram, said, “Cash lane has to be ultimately reduced to one on each side depending upon results of trial. Presently, we are at about 80% tag penetration, so we may achieve the target very soon.”
However, the Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL), concessionaire of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, said that the canopy lanes don’t fall in the original plan of the Kherki Daula toll plaza and should not be counted by NHAI.
S Raghuraman, chief executive officer, MCEPL, said, “The canopy lanes should not be even considered as part of the FASTag plan. We had constructed them in 2015-16 to ease out traffic congestion.”
On January 8, MCEPL wrote to the NHAI’s independent consultant (IC) asking them to tell NHAI that the 19 lanes at the toll plaza be counted as FASTag lanes and not the extended ones which came up later. After going through the concessionaire’s letter, IC wrote to NHAI on January 9 asking it to consider only 19 FASTag lanes at the toll plaza and not the six extended lanes. NHAI officials said that the matter is in consideration with their headquarters.
MCEPL officials said that having FASTags in canopy lanes is a wastage of lanes even though they have put visible signboard about it here. Anish John, systems manager, MCEPL, said, “Commuters who come across the canopy lanes think that these are cash lanes.”