Hyderabad: Scores of commuters on National Highways across the State faced inconvenience with FASTag system which came into force on Sunday, throwing up long queues at toll plazas.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced radio-frequency identification-based technology, FASTag, to remove delays and congestion at user fee plazas and also to smoothen the user fee collection operations at toll plazas.
But, many vehicles owners who were unaware of FASTag implementation had a tough time on the first day of cashless toll payments system as they had to wait for a long time to pay toll charges and move on. Apparently facing teething problems, the new concept ended in huge traffic jams at most places.
At Pantangi toll plaza on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway in Choutuppal, vehicles were lined up in large numbers on both sides. Here, FASTag system was provided at five dedicated lanes, while some lanes were opened for vehicles through manual payment. Similarly, the toll plaza in Bibinagar on the Yadadri-Bhongir road too witnessed long queues.
As it was a Sunday, many devotees from Hyderabad who embarked a day trip to Yadadri temple remained stuck in the jam. Vehicles without FASTag had to wait for a long time to clear payment through limited gates.
In addition, a few toll plazas reported technical glitches while adopting FASTag system at toll plazas. The FASTag was to be rolled out from December 1, but the government extended the deadline by two weeks to give time for vehicle owners and toll plaza authorities to prepare for the changes. Those travelling without this new technology, can look for the hybrid lane in toll plazas where FASTag as well as other modes of payment are accepted.
One lane on either side of the toll plaza is to be earmarked as hybrid lane, where you will need to pay more tax as a penalty.
How it works?
The FASTag system is read by the tag reader at the plaza and the toll amount is deducted automatically doing away with the need for the driver to stop the vehicle.
The prepaid tag is affixed on the vehicle’s windscreen and enables automatic transaction at toll plazas. It is linked to a prepaid account from which the applicable toll amount is deducted.
FASTag has a validity of 5 years and after purchasing it, one only needs to recharge/top up the FASTag as per their requirement.