RFID-enabled toll plazas will go cashless from Friday; double penalty for violation
Starting Friday, commercial vehicles that have RFID tags will have to compulsorily switch over to cashless payments, else pay double the tax amount as fine.
Earlier, when the RFID tags were introduced in August only those without the tags were supposed to pay the fine at the 13 major entry/exit points to the city. The RFID tag users, however, had the option of paying by cash, which has now been done away with.
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority [EPCA] mandated this during a meeting on Tuesday.
“The cashless system will be enforced from Friday. No cash will be accepted at the toll plazas. Going cashless would bring down human interference, save time and hence improve integrity of the system,” Sunita Narain, member, EPCA.
Commercial vehicle drivers can recharge their RFID accounts either online or at the 28 point of sale (PoS) kiosks at the entry/exit points. “We expect a high number of vehicles getting online recharge during September 11-12 before the cashless system kicks in,” said a senior officer. Enforcement agencies will be sending SMS alerts to all vehicle owners informing them about cashless system and the penalty.
While all commercial vehicles will be required to pay the environment compensation charge (ECC), unloaded ones will be charged only half the amount. The RFID will contain information on whether the vehicle is loaded. This too will kick-off on Friday
“In order to make the system smooth, they will be required to pay the full amount at the entry, and once it gets past the toll plaza and reaches the PoS, the remaining half will be refunded immediately,” Narain said.
For empty vehicles, she added, the audit of transactions will be done by the control room for greater transparency.
From Friday, the RFID account will require only the amount required for a single transaction. So far, they were required to keep a minimum balance for at least two transactions.
Officials said the move was in response to feedback from vehicle owners unwilling to park the extra amoun in the account. “We have decided to remove the earlier clause to convenience people further in the new RFID system. From Friday, they will be required to keep only the minimum amount for a single transaction,” said Narain.
Commercial vehicles trying to cross through free lanes, meant for private vehicles, will be issued notices while police could also register FIR, said Narain.