Exempted govt vehicles yet to get FASTagsUpdated: Jan 24, 2020 20:05 IST
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has not issued any FASTag to government vehicles, which are exempted from paying the toll, since the electronic toll collection was implemented on December 15, 2019. NHAI officials said that many government agencies have approached them for the free FASTags and their documents are being verified at the NHAI headquarters.
Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI Gurugram, said, “Till now, no FASTag has been issued to any exempted government vehicle.” The highway officials in Gurugram said that verifying documents is turning out to be a time-consuming process time and free FASTags will be handed over to the regional offices soon.
Officials of the concessionaire for the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL), said that without FASTags, there are around 10,000 government vehicles and of residents of 31 exempted villages, which cross the toll plaza on a daily basis.
S Raghuraman, chief executive officer of MCEPL, said that as of now, government officials show their identity cards at the toll plaza for exemption.
Moreover, MCEPL officials said that they have given out 407 free FASTags to residents of the 31 villages that are exempted from paying the toll. Anish John, systems manager, MCEPL, said, “We are giving out the free FASTags to villagers on our own.”
In 2018, PassTags (monthly pass) to cross the Kherki Daula toll plaza, which was given to the 31 exempted villages near the toll plaza, stopped.
“We are not issuing anymore PassTags. Any villager who has a PassTag can get the free FASTag after showing their valid documents at the Kherki Daula toll plaza,” said John.
Notably, there are 17,000 villagers who have a PassTag and most of them said that they have no idea that free FASTags are being issued by the concessionaire. The concessionaire stopped issuing PassTags in August 2018, after the NHAI had asked them not to issue any more tags.
MCEPL officials said that PassTags will be operational till August, after which no one, including residents of the 31 villages, will be allowed to cross the toll without a FASTag.
Residents of the 31 villages said that they were not aware that the MCEPL is issuing them free FASTags. A month ago, villagers had met officials of the toll plaza and had sought their assurance that their toll exemption would remain. Laxmi Narayan, resident, Kherki Daula, said, “The toll plaza concessionaire has not told us anything about the free FASTags that they are issuing nor have they put up any signboard to make sure that the residents of the 31 villages can exchange their PassTags for FASTags.”