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Motorists fume at slow movement in FasTag lanes


While the Central government is going all-out to promote FasTag, making it mandatory at toll plazas from February 15, motorists point out that the facility is ‘fast’ in name only at some places, and they invariably face delays going through toll gates. Rhe readers installed at the FasTag lane at toll plazas fail to decipher the FasTag RFID sticker property most of the time, delaying the processing. In fact, getting through the FasTag lane is very often slower than clearing the cash lane, motorists say.

If the RFID tag is deciphered by the reader installed at the designated lane of the toll plaza, and gets authenticated properly, then the drivers will see the green traffic light to guide him/her to pass through the lane and the barrier will remain open. But this does not happen too many times for comfort. Many motorists have been sharing their unpleasant experiences at toll plazas on social networking platforms.

M Stephan, a youth working in the field of public policy, pointed out that the readers and other equipment installed at the gates could be of poor quality and the Ministry for Road Transport must look into it. Venting his ire after having a bad experience at Aganampudi toll gate on the highway near Vizag, a resident from Vizag, Sohan Hattangadi posted on Facebook: “Can anyone explain what “FasTag Cash Lane” is? I have a Fastag but got stuck behind vehicles paying cash”.

“Even when I reached the counter, the barrier didn’t go up for 3 minutes! Not too fast on a FasTag lane. What on earth is going on? Is Nitin Gadkari aware? The idiocy of our country’s road toll structure is in chaos for years,” posted Hattangadi.

In case the RFID tag is not read or validated due to any reason, then the traffic light will turn red, which delays free flow of traffic. The driver must slow down as the boom barrier may come down at this step. The official at the toll plaza will then check the tag with the help of a handheld reader. If the handheld reader correctly reads and validates the RFID tag, the vehicle will be allowed to cross the particular toll plaza.

But, if the RFID tag is not valid or is blacklisted, the driver will have to pay the toll amount in the form of cash. “What will happen when the FasTag will be mandatory from February 15. NHAI should rectify the problems beforehand to check traffic snarls at toll plazas,” said M Raju, an inter-state driver.

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