Chennai

No additional cash lanes after January 15 at toll plazas

On an average, over six lakh transactions happen daily at the 48 toll plazas in the State

On an average, over six lakh transactions happen daily at the 48 toll plazas in the State  

Only 60% of transactions are through FASTag cards

Additional cash lanes at toll plazas will be withdrawn after January 15. This, despite only around 60% of transactions at toll plazas happening through FASTag cards.

On an average, over six lakh transactions happen daily at all the 48 toll plazas in the State. Sources in National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that only 30 days had been given for additional cash lanes, which is why the additional lanes would be withdrawn. “All plazas will continue to have one cash lane on both the extremes even after the 15th,” explained an official source.

However, lack of balance in around 15-20% FASTag cards is leading to vehicles being held up at electronic toll collection lanes in plazas in the State. “There is a requirement for every card to have a minimum balance of ₹200. If that is not there, it is blacklisted and the vehicle cannot cross the next toll. This is something that is common to all such financial transactions and is not specific to FASTags,” he added.

“The reader in the toll plaza reads a FASTag card when it is within a 10m distance, then passes on the vehicle details to the traffic line controller, which conveys it to the bank’s server. The information is processed and comes back to the reader that conveys the order to the boom barrier. All this happens under 10 seconds. Sometimes the card is read but the transaction fails, and the motorist has to pay cash. This can be due to slow internet speeds,” explained a system expert. Consumers said that a different system must be introduced for tourist car operators. “I often travel by tourist cars and the drivers depend only on cash. They say that since the messages reach the owner’s mobile, they are unable to get guests to pay the dues. Also immediate top-up may not be possible,” said T. Sadagopan, a Pattabiram resident. NHAI sources explained that mobile numbers linked with the tags can be changed online.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 10:26:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/no-additional-cash-lanes-after-jan-15-at-toll-plazas/article30527959.ece

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