Paliyekkara toll plaza: NHAI to stop free vehicle passes until govt pays Rs 97 crore in arrears
Paliyekkara: In what could be concerning news for people residing here near the toll plaza here, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has said that it would not grant FASTag vehicle passes as the government has to pay arrears to the tune of Rs 97 crores.
The government had announced free passage through the Paliyekkara toll plaza for 44,000 vehicles owned by people residing in a 10-kilometre wide circle around the plaza. The government has not paid the amount to NHAI since 2014.
Following this, the NHAI decided not to let the vehicles pass through FASTag track. Now, these vehicles will have to wait in the queue and pay the toll to pass through the plaza.
Moreover, 10 out of the 12 tracks at Paliyekkara toll plaza will be upgraded into FASTag tracks from December 1. Only one track will be available for public vehicles without FASTag facility and those exempted from paying toll.
From December 1, if vehicles without FASTag facility enters any of the FASTag tracks, they will have to pay double the toll amount. The NHAI has handed over an order in this regard to the toll plaza officials.
With days remaining for the FASTag facility to start functioning, only 25 percent of the vehicles passing through Paliyekkara toll plaza have availed the facility.
FASTag works with the help of radio frequency identification system. The system uses radio frequency to directly credit cash from the bank account linked to a tag attached on the front of the vehicle.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had made FASTag mandatory for all four wheelers in December 2017 by amending Motor Vehicles Act.
According to statistics, 45,000 vehicles pass through Paliyekakra toll plaza every day. People have been demanding to extend the time granted to avail FASTag facility.