One canopy lane on each side of Kherki Daula toll plaza to be FASTag enabledUpdated: Jan 22, 2020 20:38 IST
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Tuesday evening said that one FASTag lane and two cash lanes will remain on both sides of the canopy at Kherki Daula toll plaza, during the FASTag trials.
The canopy lanes were introduced in 2015 and 2016 and are not part of the toll plaza, which previously had 19 lanes. The NHAI on Tuesday tweeted, “To all commuters crossing the Kherki Daula toll out of 25 lanes, 19 have been earmarked for FASTag and four split lanes on either side have been kept for cash. However, as per the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) directions, trials are being done to reduce number of cash lanes to one on each side. (sic)”
The clarification from the NHAI comes in the wake of a demand from the highway concessionaire, Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL), which demanded that the six canopy lanes are made cash-only. Officials of the MCEPL had written to NHAI’s independent consultant (IC) on January 8 that the FASTag lanes in the canopy should be made cash lanes, following which the NHAI was asked to allow the MCEPL to collect cash at the canopy lanes.
Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI Gurugram, said, “FASTag trial is being done to reduce canopy cash lanes from three to one on each side.”
Officials of MCEPL objected to having FASTag lanes under the canopy, as they are facing difficulty in managing traffic. “Our officers are facing problems in controlling traffic in the single canopy FASTag lane. We are facing huge losses as those paying cash can’t use these lanes,” said Anish John, systems manager, MCEPL.
On January 15, which was the second deadline for the complete the implementation of FASTags, one FASTag lane on each side was made in the canopy.
MCEPL officials said that commuters hardly use the FASTag canopy lanes. “The FASTag lanes on either side under the canopy are hardly being used by commuters. Moreover, any cash payer who enters these lanes has to pay the penalty. FASTag lanes should be done away under the canopy so that commuters who want to pay through cash can move freely,” said John.
FASTag lanes under the canopy have also resulted in huge traffic jams, as this led to the lanes being squeezed up, an MCEPL official said. The toll collectors said they are fearful of being run over by a vehicle.
Rajendera Bhati, project director, Kherki Daula toll plaza, said, “The space in between the canopy lanes has reduced thus, putting lives of many toll collectors at risk.”
MCEPL officials said that the single FASTag canopy lane should be removed immediately as it only adds to the chaos. S Raghuraman, chief executive officer, MCEPL, said, “The single FASTag lane in the canopy lanes is of no use as hardly any commuter who has a tag enters these lanes (on either side).”