Bengaluru

Free distribution of FASTags at toll plazas yet to take place

The toll plaza at Tumkuru Road.

The toll plaza at Tumkuru Road.   | Photo Credit: Suchith Kidiyoor

Motorists are being charged ₹100 which is exempt till Dec. 1

On November 21, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to issue FASTags for free till December 1 at point of sale counters near toll plazas.

Though nearly a week has passed, it has not been implemented in most parts of Bengaluru. Counters near toll plazas in the city that The Hindu visited are charging motorists the ₹100 fee (which is exempt), along with the security deposit of ₹200 and the recharge amount of ₹100.

From December 1, it will be mandatory for all vehicles to switch to electronic payment of toll fees.

At Nelamangala and Hoskote toll plazas, personnel at sale counters were charging motorists ₹100. At some toll plazas such as Sadahalli gate on NH 44 that connects to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) ₹150 was being collected from the vehicle owners with a promise that the same would be reimbursed to their account as recharge.

The toll plaza at Hoskote in Bengaluru.

The toll plaza at Hoskote in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Jaysimha K.R

 

The authorities have authorised many financial institutions, including online e-commerce portals and e-wallets to sell FASTags. Only a few were adhering to Mr. Gadkari’s promise.

Car owner Shiva Prasad who was at Nelamangala toll plaza said personnel at the sales counter were unaware of the issue.

“I visited the toll plaza the day after the Union Minister announced that FASTags would be provided free to all. When I checked with the staff, they were clueless. I had to pay the fee for the tag in addition to top-up amount,” he said. Personnel selling tags at that point said, “I am not aware of the free distribution of tags. After collecting registration certificate and Aadhaar details, we distribute the FASTag by collecting ₹400 for cars. This includes the tag fee.”

Many counters have also run out of FASTags. “As the deadline was nearing, I decided to purchase the FASTag at the counter opened by the NHAI near Sadahalli toll plaza. I reached the counter after paying the toll fee, but the people operating the counter were clueless about the system. I was told that they had exhausted their supply of cards,” said Thirumalesh, a resident of Hebbal.

Admitting that FASTags are currently not being distributed free at counters opened near toll plazas, S.P. Somashekar, General Manager and Project Director of NHAI, said that measures are being taken to rectify this. “We have placed an order for 11,000 FASTags. We have received 3,000, which we will distribute from Wednesday onwards to motorists without charging the fee. Motorists will save ₹100, but will have to pay the security deposit and recharge amount by linking their bank accounts.”

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 6:18:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/free-distribution-of-fastags-at-toll-plazas-yet-to-take-place/article30091238.ece

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