Chaos on first day of FASTag leads to more cash lanes

Chaos on first day of FASTag leads to more cash lanes

Vehicles at the toll plaza in Surathkal on Monday.

Chaos prevailed on the first day of the implementation of FASTag with vehicles standing in serpentine queues and moving at a snail’s pace at toll plazas in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts on Sunday.

Following chaos, authorities at toll plazas in the districts made arrangements to increase the ‘Cash Lanes’ on Monday.

Shivaprasad, working as toll manager (Talapady, Sasthan and Hejamadi), told DH, ‘’Four cash lanes were functioning at Talapady Toll Plaza. Two lanes for vehicles plying towards Mangaluru and two for vehicles bound to Kasargod to facilitate the easy movement of vehicles.’’

He said that in all toll booths 75% of lanes were now dedicated as FASTag lanes and rest for cash payment.

‘’Bus drivers who had to wait in queue for cash payment cut short the trip and had returned from the toll gate to Mangaluru. Thus even passengers travelling in private buses had to face inconveniences on Sunday,” passengers said.

The distance between tollgate and Talapady bus stand is about a kilometre. With the opening of two more cash lanes all buses started moving towards Talapady bus stand on Monday.

The Talapady toll has a total of 10 lanes (To and fro). Hejamadi toll plaza has 14 lanes, of which six were cash lanes (three towards Mangaluru and three towards Udupi).

In Sasthan tollgate, four lanes were dedicated for cash payment, two for local vehicles and four for FASTag. Vehicles which entered FASTag lanes without having FASTag were asked to pay double the normal fee, drivers said.

A few were also seen engaged in heated arguments with the tollgate personnel.

Shivaprasad said that about 20% to 30% of the vehicles were enabled with FASTag and their movement at toll plazas had become easier.

“In order to clear long queues in cash lanes, toll booth personnel are using handheld machine for payments’’.

At Surathkal tollgate, FASTag lanes saw less traffic. Staff holding scanners helped FASTag of vehicles which could not be scanned. A few vehicles moved on beach road via Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapati Temple at Surathkal to avoid paying toll.

At Brahmarakootlu tollgate, staff were seen guiding the vehicles towards FASTag or cash gates as per their need. Cash lanes in all the toll plazas in undivided Dakshina Kannada district witnessed long queues.

Protest

Gadinadu Rakshana Vedike and others staged a protest at Talapady tollgate on Monday.

Vedike President Siddiq Talapady said that FASTag was causing a lot of inconveniences to the people. Owing to the confusion created at the toll plazas, the passengers were made to walk up to a kilometre in order to board the bus.

Despite postponing the deadline for mandatory FASTag installation, the toll plazas had gone ahead and increased the FASTag lanes.

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