Gujarat: (GSRTC)FASTag leads swiftly to chaos

Gujarat: (GSRTC)

Gujarat: Gujarat: (GSRTC)AHMEDABAD: More than 60% of vehicles plying on national highways in , do not have FASTags, officials in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said on Monday, a day after the initiative was to be implemented. Noting that vehicle owners were unprepared, the NHAI extended the deadline by a month. Now, the FASTag will become mandatory from January 15

Relaxing norms further, the Union ministry of road transport and highways on Saturday stated in a fresh order that 25% of the FASTag lanes will be converted into hybrid or cash lanes. At least 75% of the lanes at toll plazas on national highways must have electronic toll collection systems or FASTag lanes by January 15, the order said. Officials said that only 35% of vehicles that passed through toll plazas on Sunday and Monday had FASTags.

They were mostly large commercial vehicles. Officials said no GSRTC bus had the tag. Chaos reigned on national highways leading to Mumbai and Udaipur and long queues could be seen. Private cars flooded the FASTag lanes, causing jams. Some travellers also complained of double deductions. NHAI officials blamed private banks, saying that in some instances stickers issued by the banks could not be scanned by the readers.

Many vehicles that didn’t have FASTags entered the dedicated lanes, and were charged double the amount by the NHAI. “Despite having a FASTag, the toll collector on the Vadodara Expressway asked me to pay in cash,” said Shailesh Patel. “When I pointed to my FASTag, he said that the amount could not be deducted from the account. I paid but after 10 minutes, I got an SMS informing me of a deduction from my account.” A FASTag supplier had set up a stall near the toll plaza. However, the activation was taking about 30 minutes, leading to confusion and confrontation. “There is definitely a lack of awareness among people about getting FASTag and recharging

the accounts,” an NHAI official at a toll plaza said. On Ahmedabad Ring Road, the FASTag initiative has not been implemented as the toll plaza agency is awaiting official communication from Auda. “We have asked the agency to have the system in place so that FASTag can be implemented by the end of this week,” Auda CEO A B Gaur said. “All GSRTC buses will be given FASTags by January 15,” an official said. Over 8,000 GSRTC buses ply on Gujarat roads. A separate bank account is created for each bus depot and FASTags on buses belonging to various depots will be activated with that account.  

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