The National Highways Authority of India is all set to withdraw the additional cash lanes at toll plazas to facilitate easier movement of FASTag enabled vehicles.
The official added that they have decided to reduce the number of hybrid lanes nationwide despite the Pongal rush across all toll booths. “Due to Pongal festival, we expect heavy rush at toll plazas due to the Pongal festival till January 20. Those who went to their hometowns would be returning to Chennai and adjoining districts from January 18. This Sunday (January 19) would be a busy day at the toll plazas around Chennai,” the official noted.
An NHAI official said that if the traffic in the hybrid lanes is uncontrollable, the toll operators would take a decision to open more hybrid lanes to ease the vehicular congestion.
The government had earlier announced the rollout of mandatory FASTag from December 1, which was later extended to December 15, 2019 and then again to January 15, 2020. To pass through FASTag only lanes, car owners have an RFID based prepaid card (FASTag) on their vehicles’ windscreens. While they pass through the toll booths, the toll amount will be automatically deducted from the FASTag. This is expected to reduce traffic snarls at toll collection centres.
Meanwhile, NHAI officials agreed there were issues over the reading of the FASTag. “If the FASTag is not affixed at the appropriate place on the windshield, there will be trouble in automatically reading the tag. Then an attempt will be made to read the tag with the help of a handheld tag reader. There is also a chance of the tag reader recognising the vehicle at some point while passing through the lane and deducting the charge once again,” said the official.