FASTags effect: Wait time at toll gates up 2 mins, NH earnings rise by 15%
(This story originally appeared in on Dec 17, 2019)
NEW DELHI: The toll collection across national highways has increased by nearly 15% since the government pushed mandatory use of FASTags for paying toll. Sources said the average daily NHAI toll revenue has crossed Rs 80 crore against earlier average of Rs 65-68 crore in July and August. The revenue may increase further as the share of toll collection through FASTags increase as it is expected to completely plug revenue leakage.
While officials admitted that there were reports of congestion at nearly 40-45 toll plazas out of the total 530 plazas, “Tolltimezero”, an IT firm which has been tracking the live traffic situation across 488 toll plazas, claimed that the average waiting time during Sunday was 12 minutes. A year back, the average waiting time was 10.04 minutes and a month back vehicles had to wait for 10.57 minutes.
Some of the commuters TOI talked to said that there was confusion at plazas with non-tagged vehicles entering tag lanes and many refusing to pay the double amount for violating rules resulting in long queues. “There were reports of technical glitch at some toll plazas. We have notified that in such cases the commuters will be allowed to travel free, if their tags have sufficient balance,” said an official.
Meanwhile, considering that FASTag vehicles are still facing congestion at various toll plazas since non-tagged vehicles or the ones that have low balance in the tags block the way of others, now there is a proposal to collect double the user fee from such vehicles.
Highway ministry officials said the traffic situation was satisfactory at 245 toll plazas where only one lane on each side has been kept for cash transaction.
At another 242 toll plazas where cash transaction is allowed at 25% of the lanes the situation is also fairly good. But there is a need to improve the condition at the rest 40-42 toll plazas where things are not up to the mark despite 25% lanes have been kept for cash transaction.