CHENNAI: The first electronic toll collection (ETC) in South India was inaugurated at Sriperumbudur on the Chennai-Bangalore NH-4 by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Sunday.
Now, road toll can be paid along this stretch with the help of FasTag, an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) enabled tag fixed on the windscreen of the vehicles acting as a prepaid toll account.
The tag needs to be obtained from Axis and ICICI banks, which have been contracted by the government for setting up and debiting the applicable user fee from the account of users to the toll operators. The tag will be sold at these banks as well as Points of Sale at the toll plaza, and can be bought for a one-time activation fee of `250 accompanied by Know Your Customer (KYC) documents, officials said. The tag will contain information regarding the vehicle, mobile number and so on.
Once your vehicle is tagged, you need not wait at the toll plaza. There will be two sensors at the collection point, which will detect the tag and automatically deduct the applicable toll from your account. Every time a tagged vehicle crosses an electronic toll, an SMS will be sent to the registered mobile number. Officials said that the ICICI bank website would have a Toll Info System which will have details of all such toll plazas.
A helpline number 1033 has also been made available to get information about toll plazas.
Another advantage is that the vehicle owners need not carry cash while travelling. In addition, if the vehicle is stolen and the thief passed through a toll plaza using FasTag, the owner of the vehicle could be immediately intimated through an SMS.
The Centre is planning to implement this electronic toll system in all the 44 plazas in the State by mid-August, and across the country by end of August to ensure seamless movement through the toll plazas across the country, NHAI officials said. The next step would be implementation of the toll on the Bangalore-Mumbai National Highway. Through the ETC, vehicles with the tag can zip through Walajhapet-Poonamallee (NH-4), Krishnagiri-Walajhapet (NH-46), Hosur-Krishnagiri (NH-7) and Bangalore-Hosur (NH-7).