CHENNAI: Even as the Supreme Court has clarified Aadhaar should be made mandatory only for availing benefits under government schemes, motorists have found they cannot recharge FASTags — an electronic toll payment system — without Aadhaar validation.
With the January 15 deadline for complete migration to e-payment approaching, motorists say they are being made to run from pillar to post when they approach banks and toll gates to purchase FASTags.
They are told that without Aadhaar they will not be able to recharge FASTag accounts on the mobile application. An NHAI official confirmed that Aadhaar is mandatory for filling the electronic KYC form in the ‘myfastag’ application.
“The document need not be that of the vehicle owner. It can also be that of any family member or friend who has a bank account. Using one FASTag account, multiple vehicles can be recharged,” the official said.
Motorists are not amused by this news. “At Nallur toll gate, I was told I have to provide Aadhaar to link my bank account with the ‘my fastag’ mobile app without which I will not be able to recharge online. Else, I have to physically go to bank or toll gate to deposit a payment in the account each time and use it,” said Santhosh Narayanan of Thiruverkadu.
Another motorist, Vishnu Durai of Bengaluru said ‘draconian rules’ are being imposed on people as per whims and fancies of central government officials without considering the ground reality.
“Even after motorists pay a hefty fee for using roads, NHAI is harassing them. Why can’t they accept other proof like driving licence or voter ID,” he asked.
The e-payment system is being partially implemented at 48 toll plazas, maintained by NHAI, in Tamil Nadu since December 15.
About 75 per cent out of 482 lanes were converted to accept toll only electronically, while two lanes were earmarked for cash payment.
However, citing a shortage of FASTags and reluctance on the part of a section of motorists, the Central government extended the deadline for complete migration to e-payment to January 15.