Chennai

FASTag to be rolled out across ECR plazas from April-end

The FASTag toll collection system will be implemented at plazas on the East Coast Road, to Puducherry, by April-end. Toll plazas in Uthandi, Mamallapuram and Hanumanthai too will join the system, followed in the rest of the country, and motorists will no longer need to wait to pay cash.

Several tourist taxi drivers had an issue at the plazas since they had FASTag cards, but the system was not in place. “I had not taken enough cash with me, thinking I could use FASTag. Luckily, my customer gave the required cash,” said Raja, a taxi driver, who recently went to Mamallapuram.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company said that there was a delay in implementation of the system due to a delay in the import of cargo. “Our software is ready and only has to be migrated with the NHAI’s. The equipment had to be imported and took some time,” explained an official. Over 10,000 vehicles take the ECR every day, and in the weekends, the number goes up to 13,000 a day.

The official also added that the FASTag system would be implemented on the Rajiv Gandhi Salai from the first week of April. Over a lakh vehicles take the road, every day, and cross plazas at Perungudi, Akkarai Road, Medavakkam Road and Navalur.

Continued benefits

“Details of local residents will be updated into the system, so that they can continue enjoying the present benefits,” the official said. Toll plazas on the 62-km Chennai Outer Ring Road will commence operations only after the implementation of the FASTag system.

FASTag implementation in the State, at 46 plazas under the control of the National Highways Authority of India, hovers around 65%. In the second week of February, it was 66% at plazas under the Chennai regional office (RO) and 60% at plazas under the Madurai RO. This week, it was 62% under the Chennai RO and 58% under the Madurai RO.

A trucker, Janakiraman, said: “Though initially they gave us a 10% discount, it was later withdrawn. But they have retained the two-way charge and deduct only the difference in the return journey, if made in 24 hours,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 7:38:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/fastag-to-be-rolled-out-across-ecr-plazas-from-april-end/article31054101.ece

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