FASTag: Toll collection across NHs up 15%, wait time by 2 mins

The toll collection across national highways has increased by nearly 15% since the government pushed mandatory use of FASTags for paying toll. Sources said the average daily NHAI toll revenue has crossed Rs.80 crore against earlier average of Rs.65-68 crore per day in July and August. The revenue may increase further as the share of toll collection through FASTags increase since it is expected to completely plug revenue leakage.

While officials admitted that there were reports of congestion at nearly 40-45 toll plazas out of the total 530 plazas, ‘Tolltimezero’, an IT firm which has been tracking the live traffic situation across 488 toll plazas, claimed that the average waiting time on Sunday was 12 minutes. A year ago, the average waiting time was 10.04 minutes and just a month ago, vehicles had to wait for 10.57 minutes.

Some of the commuters said that there was confusion at plazas with non-tagged vehicles entering tag lanes and many refusing to pay the double amount for violating rules, resulting in long queues. “There were reports of technical glitches at some toll plazas. We have notified that in such cases, the commuters will be allowed to travel free, if their tags have sufficient balance. We hope the situation will improve over the next few days,” said an official.

Meanwhile, considering that FASTag vehicles are still facing congestion at toll plazas since non-tagged vehicles or the ones that have low balance in the tags block the way of others, now there is a proposal to collect double the user fee from such vehicles.

“Drivers of such vehicles enter the tag lane and stop at the toll gate. They refuse to pay double charge citing that their vehicles have a FASTag and cause congestion. We just need to tweak the notification to discipline such drivers and vehicle owners to bring greater clarity,” said a source.

Highway ministry officials said the traffic situation was satisfactory at 245 toll plazas where only one lane on each side has been kept for cash transaction. At another 242 toll plazas where cash transaction is allowed at 25% of the lanes the situation is also fairly good. But there is a need to improve the condition at the rest 40-42 toll plazas where things are not up to the mark despite 25% lanes being kept for cash transaction.

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