Paliyekkara toll plaza | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Paliyekkara: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has instructed all toll booths in the country to implement FASTag system on all lanes. The concessionaire companies have been instructed to ensure complete digitisation of toll collection before December 31.
According to the order issued on July 2019, FASTag system was to be implemented fully by June 2020. However, with the Covid pandemic, this was extended to December 31.
Once in force, all vehicles passing through toll booths, will mandatorily have FASTags. With this in view, all new vehicles being purchased are already installed with FASTag.
However, with all lanes becoming FASTag, there is confusion regarding vehicles using free pass. Vehicles owned within 10 km of the toll booths are still using government allotted free passes. A decision on such vehicles will have to be taken by the government.
Paliyekara Toll Plaza Chief Operating Officer AV Sooraj said that complete implementation of FASTag will help in reducing the rush at the booths. However, in lanes where vehicles pay toll in cash and those free passes are still experiencing heavy rush.
Now, vehicles with no FASTag are being removed from FASTag lanes using employees. Meanwhile, vehicles with insufficient balance in FASTag will know about it only when the sensor scans them. Now, if a vehicle enters a FASTag lane without a valid or non functional FASTag then they have to pay twice the toll, as instructed by Union Ministry. It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to ensure enough balance, Sooraj added.