Tribune News Service
Bathinda, January 20
Lack of awareness about the new guidelines on FASTag among commuters leads to chaos at toll plazas. According to the guidelines of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the toll discount on return journey in case of cash payment has been withdrawn.
On a daily basis, commuters can be seen arguing with toll plaza employees for charging the single journey toll on return journey in the cash lane, which leads to long queues. Toll plaza employees have been making extra efforts to deal with the situation.
Moreover, it seems that most of the commuters are yet to adopt the FASTag system as around 50 per cent vehicle owners continue to use cash lanes at the Lehra Bega toll plaza on the Bathinda-Chandigarh highway and the Jeeda toll plaza on the Bathinda-Amritsar highway.
Even on many occasions, commuters argue with officials when they are charged double fee for entering the FASTag lane without stickers.
The NHAI has decided that the discount for commuters making the return journey within 24 hours will be provided if toll has been paid through FASTag. There is no discount on return journey if toll is paid in cash or any other mode of payment.
Gurmeet Singh, a commuter, said, “These days, it takes double time to cross the toll barrier in the cash lane as every second commuter wastes time while arguing with toll plaza employees. Commutes who have to go on the the single journey are suffering.”
Prof NK Gosain, a city resident said, “Commuters face a tough time at toll plazas. The government is already taking road tax. Why are we being forced to pay again?”
Vipin Mangla, Director, NHAI, Bathinda, said, “Around 50 per cent vehicles are passing in FASTag lanes and the number is increasing gradually.” A toll plaza employee said, “People argue for discount on the return journey within 24 hours. According to the new guidelines, only those paying through FASTag will get discount.”
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