FASTag comes into force, evokes mixed reaction from commuters
FASTag came into force from Sunday across the national highways. The government has mandated FASTag for toll payments from December 15 onwards.
At a toll plaza, 75 per cent lanes will be accepting FASTag whereas 25 per cent 'hybrid lanes' will continue operating till the government enforces mandatory usage of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based FASTag for all.
However, at every toll plaza pan India one hybrid lane will remain operative for the vehicles from both directions.
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At Delhi-Faridabad toll plaza on National Highway 48, Sunil Agarwal, a commuter, said: "Non-stop passing of cars at the toll plazas is helping us in saving our time and fuel. People should accept it positively."
However, before plastic money comes into full force without exemption, the commuters queueing up in the cash lanes expressed concerns.
"We are facing trouble. The government has extended the deadline for another month. However, toll plazas are not opening enough gates for cash payment. Earlier we used to get daily passes but now money will be deducted each time we cross the toll. It's a trouble," said Rakesh Kashyap, a businessman who is yet to buy FASTag.
Hybrid lanes, which are yet to go cashless after the latest extended relaxation of FASTag for a month, are experiencing long queues resulting in a massive traffic jam at the Delhi-Faridabad toll plaza.
In addition, the government is offering incentives of 2.5 per cent cashback in FASTags till March 2020. However, cars without FASTag will be charged double the amount.
Standing in queues where people are buying FASTags, Rishab, 25, while waiting for his turn, said: "It will take time for the people to accept and adjust to the usage of plastic money at toll plazas. It is hugely beneficial if the system works properly."