Hyderabad: Even after two days of FASTag coming into force, the ratio of electronic toll payment and cash payments is still below government expectations. The FASTag lane usage at toll plazas is ranging from 15 per cent to 40 per cent in Telangana, observes an official. According to the latest available data, on the first day of implementation of FASTag, tollgates collected Rs 1.5 crore in Telangana. It is only slightly more than the cash transactions amounting to Rs 1.4 cr.

Meanwhile, the number of FASTags bought in Telangana rose to 60,908 on December 15 at POS units at toll plazas. Considering the adoption of FASTag chips is much below 50 per cent, NHAI is allowing vehicles in lanes of cash mode payment, said an official from the Highway Authority.

However, the number of FASTag users remained few with 78,009 users, as opposed to cash users who were 1.2 lakh. The difference in the amount collected and users indicate the fact that more commercial vehicles opted for FASTag, ensuring that the toll collected was higher. Besides, cash counters faced long queues.

“We have to continue to allow vehicles in lanes of cash counters until the majority of them buy Tag chips. The average time to clear tollgate for each vehicle is 15 minutes. We deployed police to regulate the traffic at a few toll plazas near the borders of neighbouring states,” said the official.

Tollgate employees were checking with drivers on whether they have FASTag or not. For cash transactions as well, the team were enquiring about the mode of payment before entering the lane, he said.

At Panthangi toll plaza in Choutuppal, one of the busiest toll gateways in Telangana, only one lane was marked FASTag Express. Earmarking more lanes for cash payments reveals the demand for cash mode payment and sluggish adaptation of FASTag chips.

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao is a freelance journalist with 26 years of mainstream media experience in Hyderabad and Dubai. He was Business Editor at The Pioneer and Spl Correspondent at Deccan Chronicle and The Hans India. Earlier, he worked for prestigious media brands including ToI, Indian Express (Bombay) and SPG Media and Business Standard in Hyderabad. NSE-qualified Dasari specializes in derivatives trading. He was visiting faculty at IGNOU and handled two batches of journalism students. Dasari is passionate about business journalism and always suggests all to practice rigorous meditation that ensures peace of mind and helps in moving up the value chain.

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