Kerala

Vehicle hold-ups at Kochi toll booths continue

A long queue for vehicles without FASTag at the Ponnarimangalam toll plaza in Kochi on Thursday, the second day after electronic payment was made compulsory.

A long queue for vehicles without FASTag at the Ponnarimangalam toll plaza in Kochi on Thursday, the second day after electronic payment was made compulsory.  

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Lanes allotted for cash payment see long queues

Compulsory enforcement of electronic toll payment (FASTag) from January 15 continued to affect traffic through two toll collection points near Kochi on Thursday with substantially long queues of vehicles being seen at Kumbalam on the NH 47 bypass and Ponnarimangalam on Container Road.

The traffic hold-up was only on the lanes allotted for cash payments, said an official of one of the toll collection companies. Vehicles with FASTag were cleared on the move while those making cash payment took up to a minute or more for clearing the boom barrier, the official said.

Though one more month has been provided for motorists to shift to the FASTag mode considering the traffic queues on Wednesday, vehicular movement continued to be hit at the two points.

At Ponnarimangalam, only a lane each on both sides has been provided for those making cash payments while four lanes each are available to those making electronic payment. Only 38% of the around 6,000-6,500 vehicles passing through the Ponnarimangalam toll gate had subscribed to the FASTag facility, said a spokesman for the toll collection company.

He said the company planned to sell FASTags on the road itself during the coming days.

Benefits

FASTag payment would not only speed up traffic movement but also make toll payment and collection transparent, he said.

At Kumbalam, two lanes each had been provided for vehicles using FASTag and cash payments. About 40-45% of the vehicles passing through the toll collection point had secured FASTag, said the spokesman. These included about 50% of the private buses using the highway. Around 20,000 pass through the toll booth each day. Three agencies, including private banks, have been facilitating the shift to FASTag at Kumbalam and about 10,000 fresh subscriptions were made in the past few days.

Residents exempted

Meanwhile, residents of Mulavukadu and Kumbalam panchayats are satisfied with the present arrangement in which they are allowed to move without hindrance via the lanes allotted for cash payment based on the exemption given to them.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:39:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/vehicle-hold-ups-at-toll-booths-continue/article30577454.ece

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