With FASTag, vehicles can zoom past toll plazas

A poster urging vehicle-users to buy FASTag at Raikal toll plaza in Mahabubnagar district on NH-44.

A poster urging vehicle-users to buy FASTag at Raikal toll plaza in Mahabubnagar district on NH-44.  

As Dec. 1 deadline approaches, vehicle users rush to toll plazas to buy tags

Toll plazas across the State are buzzing with activity as travellers who commute on highways have started making a dash to buy FASTag stickers before the December 1 deadline for compulsory implementation of the National Highway Authorities of India’s (NHAI) toll payments via FASTag only.

From December 1, all the lanes collecting toll would be declared ‘FASTag lanes’. At all the 17 toll plazas operational in Telangana, the NHAI officials are on an overdrive trying to create awareness among the road-users to buy FASTag for hassle-free journeys on the national highways. Be it at Raikal, Shakapur or Pullur toll plazas on NH-44 towards Bengaluru from Hyderabad, the Panthangi, Korlapahad (erstwhile Nalgonda district) on NH-65 towards Vijayawada or Manoharabad, Indalwai, Kadthal, Gamjal, Pippalwada toll plazas (NH-44) in the erstwhile Medak, Nizamabad and Adilabad districts, special arrangements have been made to enable the travellers buy the tags.

Watch | All about FASTag

Penalty to be imposed

A. Krishna Prasad, General Manager, Regional Officer, NHAI, Telangana, told The Hindu on Wednesday that the response to the deadline was overwhelming as 10,028 tags were sold at the Point of Sales (POS) set up at the plazas. The NHAI has tied up with 22 banks to sell the tags. “We expect the rush to increase as all lanes will become FASTag lanes from December 1. Any vehicle without a tag entering the dedicated lane will be imposed penalty which would be double the toll charge,” he said. The NHAI official said to help the vehicle users who do not have tags, one lane (both ways) at each toll plaza would collect cash or card payments for some days. On an average, 1.45-lakh vehicles pass through all the 17 toll plazas. Raikal in Mahabubnagar district and Panthangi in Yadadri district in Telangana with 25,686 and 20,136 vehicles passing through are the busiest toll plazas.

An Highway Operations Unit officer at Raikal toll plaza said the tags were being activated fast. Those issued by the Indian Highway Management Company Limited were being activated in 15 minutes, while some banks were taking 24-48 hours to activate them.

“The vehicle survey is completed at Panthangi. As of Wednesday, approximately 4,000 vehicles have been enrolled and FASTags stickers issued,” another official said. Considered the ‘gateway plaza’ to Andhra Pradesh and a checkpoint between the two Telugu States, Panthagi toll plaza has a total 21 lanes, of which only two are FASTag-enabled now. It is also the busiest of all the toll plazas located in undivided Nalgonda, clocking a daily average of 20,000-25,000 vehicles, and almost double the vehicle traffic during festivals and long weekends.

Like Panthagi and Korlapahad plazas here, the Gudur toll plaza on NH-163 (Hyderabad-Bhupalapatnam) near Yadadri also has staff camped under tents to collect details of vehicles as part of the survey, and conduct the enrolment. The plaza records a daily average of 21,000 vehicles, and has two FASTag-enabled lanes. According to the plaza manager, Sudheer, it has enrolled 3,100 new users, apart from the existing renewals, till Wednesday. “The awareness created on FASTag has reached most people. Motorists are stopping by to get it voluntarily. On an average, about 250 to 300 vehicles are given FASTag stickers every day,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 5:38:58 PM |

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