‘People without FASTag made to pay Rs 360 to cross toll’
Awantipora, Feb 19: As the FASTags becomes mandatory the chaos continues to prevail at the toll plaza in Chachkoot area of Pulwama for the last four days.
Drivers from different areas of Kashmir said that those who haven’t availed FASTags facility are paying two times toll than they used to pay earlier.
They said that the government claimed that FASTags will save their time, however, so far everything is going on in the opposite way as it takes hours to cross the toll plaza due to a traffic jam.
They also said that authorities at the toll plaza have started charging extra on the name of FASTags which needs to be checked.
A government employee wishing anonymity said that due to busy schedule, he wasn’t able to avail FASTags facility which leads him to pay Rs 360 every day.
“It is sheer injustice, I don’t burn petrol of Rs 360 per day but have to pay the toll tax of the same amount,” he said.
Locals living within the radius of 20 km who were exempted to pay toll fee also said that they have to pay Rs 360 even if they are crossing toll plaza to visit neighbouring village.
People who are trying to get the FASTags facility also said that they have to wait for hours to get this facility due to huge rush.
District Development Commissioner Pulwama Dr Raaghav Langer has directed toll plaza authorities to function smoothly.
Langer had also appealed the public to cooperate with the authorities as the FASTags mechanism has been introduced to save time and seamless passage.
He added that the exception clause shall be abided with and people falling within the radius of 20 kms shall be given the relaxation and a mechanism has been carved out for the same.
It is noteworthy that all the 12 lanes at Toll Plaza Kaichachkoot Awantipora on NH-44 have been equipped with FASTags.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways last week announced that all lanes in the fee plazas on National Highways shall be declared as ‘’FASTag lane of the fee plaza’’ from midnight of February 15, 2021.
Accordingly, as per NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicle without valid functional FASTag entering into the FASTag lane of the fee plaza shall pay a fee equivalent to two times the fee applicable to that category.
The high tech-initiative is internet-based aimed at promoting fee payment through digital mode, saving precious time and fuel consumption. It provides for a seamless passage through the fee plazas.
It can be even ordered online through a mobile application and the prepaid payments can be made online as well.
The Government of India has in recent years set various timelines for making this Tag mandatory for all vehicles.
The deadline was recently rescheduled from January 1 to February 15, giving some more time to the commuters to get these tags fixed on their vehicles.