Hyderabad: Yet another smart idea of the central government has been introduced without proper planning, and bearing the brunt, as always, is the ordinary citizen.
Motorists heading home for Sankranti in both Telugu states were stuck for several hours at all toll booths on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) on Friday. They complained that despite working on the electronic toll management system for two years, and the Centre mandating FASTags for smooth movement at toll booths, HMDA had not made things easy.
Commuters claimed that the toll managers were allowing non-FASTag vehicles into the dedicated FASTag lanes, which resulted in the traffic snarls.
The toll agency has been mandated to clear traffic without collecting any fee if more than 20 vehicles are in a queue. But the toll agency has allowed more than 30 vehicles to wait in a line.
On any given day 1,05,577 vehicles travel on the ORR. Sharing his experience, K Bharat, who was driving from Nanakram-guda to AP, said that the radio frequency identification (RFID) readers at toll plazas were not reading the FASTags on cars. “Now due to poor toll management the vehicles which do not have FASTags have been entering into the dedicated lanes,” he said.
Irate commuter Sai Krishna asked what was the point in introducing the electronic toll system when commuters have to wait for 30 minutes at toll booths. He too noticed that toll booth staff was directing non-FASTag vehicles into the dedicated FASTag lines. “Commuters suffered in silence and the personnel too kept quiet. This is the third time I have been forced to wait at the Shamshabad toll plaza after the e-toll was introduced,” he complained.
Asked about these complaints, ORR chief general manager B.L. N. Reddy said the toll agency had set up three additional lanes at Shamshabad. He said that after the traffic snarls were reported, he had instructed the staff to make immediate arrangements to clear the vehicles. He said he would direct officials to allow traffic in additional lanes.