- Traffic congestion stretching over 1km at tollgates
Hyderabad: The latest functioning of FASTag is causing traffic jams at several toll gates and creating longer queues as vehicle owners have not geared up for the new system. The situation may become worse if not all vehicle owners embrace the new electronic toll payment system, as FASTag is mandatory from December 15, 2019, onwards.
Tollgates on Hyderabad-Warangal Highway, Sangareddy route, and several other places are earmarked for FASTag lanes. Only one or two lanes are functioning for cash payments, and this is causing a lot of inconvenience to passengers. The situation is no different in Andhra Pradesh. For instance, toll plazas in Krishna district are not functioning. The officials have opened two cash counters to clear the traffic.
Thousands of passengers every day are suffering owing to the non-adjustment to the new electronic toll payment fast track lanes at Kesara toll plaza in Kanchikacharla Mandal. Tollgate staffs are working in standard cash counter to clear the traffic.
In Sangareddy route, vehicles have queued up at the tollgate, as the majority of vehicles are not equipped with FASTag chip. Out of the eight lanes, operators opened two for cash counters. No vehicles were seen in the FASTag path, said officials.
On Hyderabad-Warangal Highway, vehicles lined up over one kilometre at Panthangi tollgate as vehicles were not equipped with FASTag chip.
NHAI has prepared arrangements for implementing FASTag at 17 tollgates in Telangana National Highways from December 15. The new electronic toll payment was scheduled for December 1, 2019, but was postponed. Officials have completed technical arrangement for FASTag at tollgates on Telangana National Highways. However, on state highways, FASTag is yet to be deployed. Lack of coordination between contractors and state government is causing the delay.
The Centre would bear 50 per cent of the cost of FASTag equipment, and the remaining amount is locally contributed. The state government and contractors locked horns over the issue. So far, only 58,000 FASTag chips have been sold in Telangana.