Here’s Why Fastag Still Can’t Clear Traffic Jams at Tollbooths
Cameraperson: Shravya M G
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had introduced electronic toll collection through Fastag across the country back in 2014, but it was an optional system. Now, Fastag has been made mandatory in India which means every vehicle passing a tollbooth needs to have an RFID tag.
This leads to the electronic transfer of the toll from the commuter's digital wallet directly to the government’s account.
However, since the past two months of it being made mandatory many people have been complaining that their Fastag has not been working and this causes a lot of problems at the tollbooth.
We made our way to the Manesar tollbooth about18 kilometres from Gurugram and talked to the tollbooth attendants and supervisors there.
After spending about three to four hours at the location we observed that there were many commuters not following rules and at times argued over penalties. Many also got into fistfights with tollbooth supervisors over disputes on the Fastag.
People who drive into the Fastag lane and do not have a Fastag need to pay Rs 65 as penalty with the additional toll of Rs 65. The tollbooth attendant is supposed to hand over a receipt of Rs 130 to the driver.
People who do not have a Fastag need to drive through the cash lane or else they will have to pay the penalty. Since many people are unaware of this rule they drive into the Fastag lane and later get into arguments with tollbooth attendants.
We also noticed that many cars were driving into the VIP lane just by showing their government IDs. You should know that every vehicle (even exempt) needs to have a Fastag. The cars that fall under the exempt category also need to get an exempt Fastag issued.
A government ID is not a valid document to gain access to the VIP lane at the toll booth as per the Indian Highways Management Company Ltd.
In order to avoid these incidents, it is advised that everyone should get a Fastag and keep it recharged before crossing a toll. Fastag is available near every tollbooth and you can also get one issued via digital wallets like Paytm or get one from your bank.
The government has announced that Fastag will be available for free till 29 February but people have to understand that this is mandatory for smoother operation of the whole system.