Andhra Pradesh

Vehicle owners within 20 km of toll plazas exempted from tax

FASTag campaign has been intensified at a toll plaza at Natavalasa of Vizianagaram district.

FASTag campaign has been intensified at a toll plaza at Natavalasa of Vizianagaram district.  

Monthly passes being issued on payment of ₹260, says NHAI official

Vehicle owners living within 20 km radius of toll plazas on national highways can seek exemption from paying toll tax on submission of applications, along with the necessary documents, officials of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have said.

"The motorists need to submit valid address proof and Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle, along with the application," NHAI Project Director (Visakhapatnam) P. Siva Sankar told The Hindu.

Free RFID tags

Referring to the FASTags, the electronic mode of payment of toll tax introduced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Siva Sankar said all the vehicles coming under the exempted category would be provided the Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags free of cost.

"The exempted vehicles are being issued monthly passes on payment of ₹260 as administrative charge. These vehicles can pass through the specified toll plazas any number of times without restriction. The same FASTags can also be used at other toll plazas, but the toll tax will be deducted as usual," explained the NHAI Project Director.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said that payment of toll tax through FASTag will be made mandatory from January 15. The NHAI officials said that the electronic mode of payment is catching up fast. "Around 75% of the vehicles have achieved FASTag compliance thus far," said Mr. Siva Sankar.

Validity

Mr. Siva Sankar further said that the FASTags issued to the exempted category would be valid for five years in case of government vehicles and one year for private ones, adding that the tags would be renewed subsequently as per the rules.

"The FASTags issued to the vehicles belonging to MPs, MLAs and MLCs will be valid for their respective tenures. The vehicles of government dignitaries, defence personnel who have received gallantry awards, the ones being used by the Fire Services Department, vehicles meant to transport persons with physical disabilities, ambulances and hearses among others are exempted from paying toll tax," said Mr. Siva Sankar.

Meanwhile, vehicle owners living in the vicinity of toll plazas are happy with the introduction of FASTag. "FASTag prevents malpractice in toll collection and helps the NHAI officials keep a tab on the number of vehicles passing through toll plazas. We are being allowed to pass through Aganampudi toll plaza any number of times after payment of the monthly charges. We were issued the tags after submitting the requisite documents," said Balireddy Satyanarayana, chairman of Aganampudi Development Committee.

Separate lane sought

However, he sought a separate lane for the exempted category vehicles at the toll plaza. "With the ‘non-tag’ and exempted vehicles coming in the FASTag lane, it is resulting in delays," said Mr. Satyanarayana.

Mr. Satyanarayana, along with some others, had waged a relentless struggle demanding removal of the Aganampudi toll plaza on the NH-16, as it is in the city limits. "The toll collection at Aganampudi toll plaza was stopped for some months earlier this year. But it was resumed after the contractor obtained an order from the Supreme Court," said K. Eswar, a resident of Kurmannapalem.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 6:03:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/vehicle-owners-within-20-km-of-toll-plazas-exempted-from-tax/article30420992.ece

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