19 lanes at Kherki Daula toll to accept FASTags from today
For the next 30 days, six lanes out of 25 at the Kherki Daula toll plaza will continue to accept cash; the decision has been taken to avoid traffic congestion, say highways authority officials.Updated: Dec 15, 2019 09:45 IST
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to implement the introduction of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, known as FASTags, at the Kherki-Daula toll plaza. Nineteen out of 25 lanes which will be able to collect toll through the electronic toll collection process to ease out traffic congestion. NHAI officials said that this is a temporary provision for 30 days, before all lanes start accepting toll through such tags.
From midnight on Sunday, eight lanes from the Jaipur-Delhi side and 11 lanes from Delhi-Jaipur side will accept toll only through FASTags. There will be three cash lanes on both sides of the toll plaza. The highway officials said that the decision to have cash lanes was taken after a series of FASTag trials didn’t go as the officials had anticipated. “Lanes 2-9 from the Jaipur-Delhi side and 10-18, 21 and 23 from the Delhi-Jaipur side have been declared as dedicated FASTag lanes,” read a press release sent by NHAI, Gurugram. The highway officials said that within the course of time the remaining cash lanes shall also be declared as FASTag lanes. A command and control centre has been set up at the regional office in Delhi for handling issues and giving out instructions regarding FASTag implementation.
In the press release sent by NHAI Gurugram on Saturday, the highway officials said that if any commuter would enter the FASTag lanes and give cash they would have to pay double the amount of toll fee. Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI Gurugram said, “Any vehicle entering into the FASTag lane without having a valid FASTag is liable to pay the double of the toll charges specified for respective category of vehicle.” The NHAI has advised commuters not to enter the FASTag lanes if want to pay toll through cash. “Commuters are advised to get FASTags fitted to their vehicles so as to facilitate the smooth passage of vehicles through the toll plaza and to avoid any traffic congestion and mismanagement,” said Sharma in the release.
On December 11, Hindustan Times had reported that there is a shortage of FASTag availability at the Kherki-Daula toll plaza. Amarendra Kumar, chief general manager, CO, NHAI wrote a letter to the joint secretary, ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) on December 11, accepting that there is a deficit of FASTags in the market. “It was found out that the chips used in the RFID tags is imported which has a lead time of six weeks and the average total production capacity of all manufacturers is in range of 30 to 50,000 per day and at present around 18 lakh tags inventory is available in the market. With import of chip and subsequent production of tags there is a supply-deficit in the market and all commuters have not been able to get the FASTags (sic),” read the letter a copy of which is in possession of HT.
NHAI officials made it clear that all exempted vehicles will be allowed to move freely for now by showing valid documents at the toll plaza. HT had reported on December 13 that the NHAI has not given FASTags to any exempted category vehicles. In the press release, NHAI Gurugram has assured that exempted vehicles will be able to move about freely. However, they are advised to get the FASTags from the regional office of the NHAI. “All the users under the exempted category will be allowed free passage on production of valid documents to authenticate their exemption. However, they are also advised to get the exempted free tags fitted on their vehicle as per the standard operation procedure of ministry,” read the press release by NHAI Gurugram.
The toll plaza operator maintained that this decision to implement only a few FASTag lanes for now taken as there would have been a total chaos, had all the lanes been declared as FASTags one. The officials said that they are prepared for implementing the FASTags completely. However, commuters are not cooperating in getting the tags. Rajendra Singh Bhati, project head, Kherki-Daula toll plaza, said, “If all lanes start accepting toll through FASTags, it will throw the machinery out of gear. There would have been traffic jam at the toll plaza.” The toll operator said that trials had shown them that FASTags resulted in traffic congestion within few minutes.