Tribune News Service
Karnal, December 15
On the first day of implementation of FASTag by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), long queues of vehicles were seen at the cash lanes at Bastara toll plaza in the district on National Highway-44 on Sunday.
The commuters, who had not got FASTag so far, had to face inconvenience in the cash lane. They found themselves stuck in 1 km-long queues and had to wait for 15-20 minutes for their turn.
They demanded that the Union Ministry for Road, Transport and Highways should extend the date by a month.
“I had to wait for around 20 minutes in the cash lane. The government should extend the date for making FASTag mandatory by at least one month as the FASTags given by banks are not working properly. The NHAI should ensure these tags are fixed at public places,” said Urvashi Chawla, a commuter.
Another commuter Hem Singh, who was going to Delhi, also demanded that the government should extend the date. He said that he had purchased the tag but due to technical snag, it was not working.
Meanwhile, the toll authorities have increased the number of lanes for cash to four each instead of one each up and down. But commuters continued to suffer as their number was very high. There are 22 lanes — 11 each for up and down — at toll plaza.
Meanwhile, scores of people gathered at counters near the toll plaza to get FASTags. A number of commuters got tags for their vehicles on Sunday. Few commuters had to face problem as their tags were not fixed properly.
As per the data available, around 40 per cent commuters have switched to FASTag so far at Bastara toll plaza. Around 40,000 vehicles use this plaza daily.
The employees were seen verifying whether the vehicles are equipped with unique radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers on their windshield before letting them proceed to the cash or FASTag lanes.
“We have increased the cash lanes for the convenience of the people. I appeal to the commuters to get this facility at the earliest. Otherwise, vehicles without FASTag will have to pay double the amount if found entering the wrong lane,” said Yogesh Chandra, Project Director, NHAI, Ambala.
He denied any extension of date by the Union government and said that it has been implemented from Sunday and would continue. “One lane in each side will be kept reserved for cash,” he said.