Smooth movement on FASTag lanes and long queues at the solitary ‘cash lane’ — this was a familiar scene at most of the 15 toll plazas across Bengal on Sunday, the first day of FASTag implementation.
Sources said on the first day, there were no teething issues. “Yes, there were queues at the lone cash lane, but no major hassle was reported on the first day of its implementation,” said National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) chief general manager for Bengal area, RP Singh.
FASTag is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which are linked to bank accounts or electronic wallets, enabling automatic debit of the toll amount while the vehicle is on the move. Because of FASTag, a driver does not need to stop his vehicle at the plaza to physically pay the toll.
Untagged vehicles cannot travel along FASTag lane. If they do, they need to pay a penalty — double the toll amount. On Sunday, NHAI engaged a large number of traffic marshals at least one kilometre ahead of the toll plazas to guide untagged vehicles to take the cash lane. “The traffic was less on Sunday. We have not got any report of untagged vehicles travelling along FASTag lane,” said Singh.
The FASTag system prevents application of clutch and brake near toll plazas that causes pollution and wastage of fuel. Moreover, motorists don’t need to stop for payment.
“However, for two plazas close to Kolkata — at Dankuni and at Dhulagarh — we might need to operate more cash lanes, because a large number of goods vehicles wait at different points on NHAI from 9pm for entering Kolkata. From 6am to 9pm, movement of goods vehicle is banned in the city. All hell breaks loose at 9pm. To avoid this pressure, we will run a few more cash lanes for the time being,” said a toll plaza official.
Source: Times of India