Kerala

Situation better at Paliyekkara

Heavy rush of vehicles at the Paliyekkara toll booth on Wednesday when only one track was allotted for non-FASTag vehicles.

Heavy rush of vehicles at the Paliyekkara toll booth on Wednesday when only one track was allotted for non-FASTag vehicles.   | Photo Credit: K.K. Najeeb

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Non-FASTag vehicles get more time

After a day’s chaos, the scene at the Paliyekkara toll plaza was slightly better after non-FASTag vehicles got to use 25% of the tracks.

Considering the rush at toll plazas, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways postponed the date for mandatory implementation of FASTag at 25% of the tracks at 65 toll plazas, including Paliyekkara. But allotment of 25% of the tracks for non-FASTag vehicles was not effective in controlling the rush.

The Paliyekkara toll plaza witnessed kilometres-long queues on Thursday too, even after four tracks, two on both sides each, started receiving money.

Double pass facility

However, the double pass facility (toll ticket for both sides) for non-FASTag vehicles has been disallowed from Thursday, with people taking ticket for each journey.

Earlier, those planning to return within 24 hours had to play only ₹105 for both sides, while the toll for one way was ₹75.

Now, they have to pay ₹75 for each journey. However, FASTag holders have to pay only ₹105.

The situation went out of control on Wednesday as the majority of vehicles were without FASTag.

Only one track on each side was allotted for non-FASTag vehicles and the queue extended till Amballoor on one side.

It took almost two hours to cover the distance from Amballoor to the plaza. Toll officials and the police were helpless in controlling the rush. Even ambulances were trapped in the rush.

Meanwhile, Education Minister C. Ravindranath, who is the local MLA, gave a letter to the project director of the National Highways Authority of India and the Public Works Minister for a solution to the issue of free passes for local people at the plaza.

The issue was raised with the authorities and a demand had been made for free passes for the local people, he said. He also demanded that the first track be allotted to the local people.

Meanwhile, Thrissur District Congress Committee vice president Joseph Taget criticised the government for failing to find a solution for the issue.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:05:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/situation-better-at-paliyekkara/article30579181.ece

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