FASTag Day one: Toll cams blink, stickers can't be read

LUCKNOW: The FASTag, which is attached to the vehicle's windshield to enable automatic transaction at toll gates, is expected to offer a seamless payment experience. The reality of Day One at its launch was the opposite of commuters on Sunday claiming glitches like slow or poorly performing RFID readers to unaware staff.

Common grievances were poured out from citizens crossing the plazas on national roads, including NH-24, NH-24B, NH-25 and NH-27. An investigation into TOI of these lanes also found merit in the complaints.

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I have been stuck here for the past 20 minutes. The cameras couldn't read the tag fixed to my windshield and the toll staff asked me to double the standard fee as a penalty. It's funny! Motorist Tarun Ahuja rang the Ahmedpur public square on NH-27, linking Lucknow and Barabanki.

According to the ministry of roads and lanes, commuters without the FASTag are expected to cough twice as much. However, the rules promised a hybrid line, where the standard toll would be charged from non-FASTag vehicles, in the early days.

Also, to curb the expected chaos, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is expected to deploy marshals to all plazas across the country to guide the vehicles. The ways in which TOI has made these mandatory provisions are unreasonably absent, inciting anger and frustration.

Naman Saraswat, another commuter in Ahmedpur, said prepaid tags were intended to reduce the time taken at the gates, but the opposite was happening. I waited in the queue for more than 30 minutes and I probably didn't cross another half hour. There should be hybrid lines as promised, ”said Saraswat who was in a hurry to attend a meeting.

At the Dakhina plaza on Rae Bareli road, Harsh Kailash said the FASTag problem was pandemic on the first day. Despite the tags on our windshield, we waited and waited. Too much for toll-free payments and traffic movement on the roads. Camera glitches were happening everywhere and the toll gate staff had no idea what to do, ”he added.

While the project manager in New Delhi was unavailable for comments, an NHAI official in Lucknow said that problems of desire were always anticipated when a new technology was introduced.

These problems are inevitable. This is a new technology for most employees. Glitches were taken care of. We expect things to go smoothly from Monday, ”he said on condition of anonymity.