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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

RIFD must: 30% of trucks, taxis in Delhi fined for lack of etags on Day 1

In absolute numbers, 5,749 commercial vehicles — trucks, tempos, buses, taxis and Ola/Uber cabs —paid double the municipal toll tax and Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) for not acquiring the RFID tag.

delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2019 08:36 IST
Baishali Adak
Baishali Adak
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
People queue to get RFID Cards at Ghazipur toll booth in New Delhi.
People queue to get RFID Cards at Ghazipur toll booth in New Delhi. (Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times)
         

Around 30% of all commercial vehicles that entered Delhi through the city’s 13 major toll points at Shahdara, Faridabad, Singhu Border, etc. between midnight and 5pm on Saturday did not have the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag, authorities said. All such commercial vehicles were fined heavily, officials said.

In absolute numbers, 5,749 commercial vehicles — trucks, tempos, buses, taxis and Ola/Uber cabs —paid double the municipal toll tax and Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) for not acquiring the RFID tag. A total of 19,150 commercial vehicles came into Delhi on Saturday between midnight and 5pm, officials said.

South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), the nodal agency that is implementing the system for all three civic agencies across city — had announced on Friday that commercial vehicles which had not affixed the RFID tag on their windshield for automatic toll deduction from e-wallets will not get any deadline extensions.

South corporation said vehicles without the RFID tag will pay double the charges otherwise levied during the first week from August 23, four times the charges in the second week, and six times the charge in the third week.

Being implemented under directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), the RFID system is meant to digitise the entire process of toll tax collection, reduce traffic jams and air pollution at Delhi’s border entry points as well as help police keep a record.

“Around 23,000 commercial vehicle owners have purchased the RFID tag in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of vehciles with such tags to 1.86 lakh,” said Sunita Narain, member of EPCA and Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

“Further, there were no traffic jams or protests by truck drivers being fined. Those who didn’t have the RFID tag either paid the penalty without complaining or joined the queue to get the tag at the toll points,” she said.

When HT visited the toll points at Ghazipur, Kundli and Mayur Vihar-Noida between midnight and 1am on Saturday, long queues were seen at sale counters. Extra police force had been summoned from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to ensure law and order in the area.

A taxi driver, who ferries employees of an IT company, said, “I have been standing in queue to get RFID tag for the past three days now. Their servers have been crashing every now and then. I have lost over Rs 5,000 by just waiting in queue.”

Officials of the toll operating company said since at least four documents are being uploaded on the systems to process the RFID tag — the driving license, car registration number, insurance papers and a photograph of the vehicle — the process is bound to take some time.

“From today (Saturday) onwards, we have devised a new way to avoid queues at RFID tag selling counters. Now, the vehicle owners can deposit their documents at the counters, get a receipt valid for seven days after paying the tag fee (Rs. 235) and come back to collect the tag later. They can show the receipt at toll points and will not be penalized,” said additional commissioner of south corporation, Randhir Sahay.

“Further, they can also submit their documents at preregistertags@gmail.com and their RFID tags will be deposited at their nearest toll point for collection. However, they will be penalised in the meantime as fees needs to be paid later,” Sahay said.

EPCA officials said they would soon fix the problem of servers crashing at the tag selling counters. “It is partly because the border toll points are at remote locations where internet connectivity is poor. We are trying to improve it,” said Sunita Narain.

Also, the authorities will set up 20 more RFID tag selling counters -- 10 within Delhi and 10 more outside -- to ease the queues at the current locations. “Inside Delhi, the counters will be set up at airports, railway stations & bus stops so that drivers and owners of taxis, buses & Ola/Uber cabs can easily purchase the tags. The counters outside of Delhi will be near the border points,” Narain said.