Bengaluru

‘26-30% vehicles passing through toll gates in State have FASTag’

A file photo of the toll plaza near Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.

A file photo of the toll plaza near Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.  

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It is mandatory for using tolled highways from December 1

Barely a week before the deadline, only 26 to 30% of private and commercial vehicles that pass through toll gates across the State are equipped with FASTag — an electronic toll collection system. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has announced that FASTag is mandatory for using tolled highways from December 1.

At a media briefing on Saturday, B.T. Sridhara, general manager and project director of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said the new rule would also apply for motorists using State highways and NICE road. “In Karnataka, there are 39 toll plazas on national highways. In addition, an agreement has been signed between State agencies and the Centre to introduce FASTags at toll booths on State highways and NICE road as well. The Central government is bearing 50% of the cost required to set up infrastructure to facilitate electronic toll collection,” said Mr. Sridhara. The NHAI hopes to meet the December 1 deadline, and work to upgrade toll booths is under way.

FASTag, which works on radio frequency identification technology, has many benefits: for one, it will help motorists avoid being stuck at toll booths. “With this technology, they can pass through one in 30 seconds, and can avail of cash back of 2.5% on all toll payments,” he said.

All the collection booths at the plazas will be equipped with the new system barring one booth where cash payment is allowed. “Vehicles that do not have FASTag from December 1, will end up paying double the fees,” he said.

Replying to a question on how money gets deducted for return journey travel, Mr. Sridhara said that as per the rule, if a vehicle makes a return journey within 24 hours, the amount gets deducted from pre-paid wallet or account. If a vehicle makes a return journey after 24 hours, it will be considered a separate single trip.”

In Karnataka, the NHAI and Indian Highways Management Company Ltd. have established 28,500 sales centres, including sale points at toll plazas on national highways and at RTOs. People can also purchase FASTags from certified banks or e-commerce platforms.

The NHAI is in the process of expanding the toll plaza at Attibele on Hosur Road to clear the traffic congestion. The plaza currently has 14 toll booths, and 10 more will be added. According to sources, the authority is planning to add more toll booths on other national highways in Bengaluru, but is facing challenges owing to space constraints at locations such as Nelamangala and Electronics City.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 11:02:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/26-30-vehicles-passing-through-toll-gates-in-state-have-fastag/article30064291.ece

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