10K vehicles cross Ladhowal toll barrier with FASTag

10K vehicles cross Ladhowal toll barrier with FASTag

A flex board indicates FASTag lanes at the Ladhowal toll barrier in Ludhiana. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 11

As the deadline for mandatory FASTag, an electronic toll collection system, extended to December 15 approaches, almost 25 per cent of vehicles have already switched to the service as per details obtained from the Ladhowal toll barrier on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway.

Wrongly affixed FAStag delays passing

  • Scanners which scan the tag using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology have been installed on top of the barrier. As the vehicle approaches barrier, scanner scans the tag and barrier automatically opens. This happens only when tag is installed in the upper middle of windscreen. If tag is installed on the corner either left or right of the windscreen, then scanner cannot scan the tag and barrier does not open. In this case, toll employee has to scan the tag manually with hand held scanner.

When The Tribune correspondent visited the Ladhowal toll plaza to check the reality it was found that on an average every fourth owner passing through the barrier had affixed FASTag on his/her vehicle.

Vehicles, which had FASTag affixed properly and balance in the wallet, were crossing the barrier between 10 to 15 seconds.

There were some vehicles on which though FASTag was affixed, but due to less balance in the wallet, barrier could not open and employee had to collect the fee manually to let vehicles pass. This exercise took about a minute.

Human intervention still remains

  • Even if a vehicle has FASTag human intervention still remains. “Once vehicle approaches barrier, an employee sitting in the barrier room has to select the category of vehicle, like car, truck or bus and then the scanner automatically deducts the required fee. All will take maximum 10 seconds,” said an NHAI official.

“We have 20 fully functional lanes at the toll barrier supported by FASTag scanners. On daily average 10,000 vehicles with FASTag are passing through the toll barrier. Otherwise, around 40,000 vehicles pass from this toll plaza every day,” a senior official of the toll barrier told The Tribune on Wednesday.

“FASTag will be mandatory from December 15. After that, no vehicle without FASTag will be allowed to pass through the barrier. We will still keep one cash lane for the time being, which can be used by vehicles not having FASTag or by exempted vehicles,” he added.

Even exempted vehicles of the police, politicians, Army and others also have to install zero balance tag issued by the NHAI. Several companies have put up their makeshift stalls at toll barrier where they are issuing FAStag on the spot.

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