KOCHI: STATE’S all four toll booths, except the one at Paliyekkara in Thrissur, are ready for electronic fee collection as the central government’s decision to collect fees at plazas on all national highways across the country through FASTag comes into effect from Wednesday.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has asked to keep one lane on all toll booths free for vehicles that do not have FASTags.Those lanes will be hybrid — where both cash and FASTag are accepted. The earlier decision was to make all lanes FASTag-enabled.
An NHAI official told TNIE that the toll booths at Pampampallam near Walayar, Ponnarimangalam and Kumbalam, both Ernakulam, were made ready by Tuesday evening. Paliyekkara is not yet fully ready. “Right now, three each from either side of the toll booth, are electronic toll collection lanes. We’ll convert other lanes soon,” said the official.
“We’re confident more and more people will switch to FASTag once they realise its advantages, mainly seamless and congestion-free travel through toll gates,” he added. Meanwhile, electronic toll collection across the four toll booths in the state has crossed 40 per cent of the total collection, with 50 per cent of the fee at Pampampallam coming through FASTag every day.
Vehicles affixed with FASTag, which is based on radio frequency identification technology, do not have to stop at toll gates as charges are deducted and transactions completed automatically.
FASTag at fault? Travel toll-free
The National Highways Authority of India, ahead of mandatory implementation of FASTag on Wednesday, has said that passengers will be allowed to travel toll-free in case the FASTag is not read correctly at toll plazas.