Hyderabad: The Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system introduced by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority has received poor response from commuters travelling on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) even after tit announced that it would introduce FASTags free for the first two lakh vehicles.
The HMDA has sold only 430 FASTags till date and generated Rs 1.82 crore in revenue since Dec. 11, whereas it has been generating Rs 85 lakh daily through the manual toll system. It is said the scheme has failed so far as HMDA did not provide enough information abo-ut the availability and importance of FASTags.
After conducting trials on the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) FASTag ETC system on the ORR for nearly a month, the HMDA rolled out the system on December 11. The trials and tests were conducted jointly by the existing toll collection agency IRB Infrastructures Developers Limited, System Integrator Efkon and ICICI bank. However, vehicle owners, who are already enrolled with and equipped with FasTag, have been enjoying the benefits.
Officials claimed that even though the HMDA has set up three toll plaza Points of Sale (POS) at Nanakramguda, Shamshabad and Patancheru, commuters are still unaware of the procedure. The HMDA has managed to sell 350 tags at the Nanakramguda centre, 58 at Shamshabad and 25 at Patancheru. It has made 79,094 transactions through the ETC system and garnered Rs 1.82 crore till Monday.
A senior HMDA official said that the municipal authority had been generating ` 7,000 per day, on an average, through the ETC system. He said even though hoardings were erected at three POS counters there has been lukewarm response from the commuters. The official said that most of the FASTags have been sold to commuters travelling as they would travel regularly on ORR to escape the city traffic. He added that HMDA FASTags lacked publicity. However, citing this lukewarm response, the municipal authority has decided to provide extensive publicity through all mediums including radio and TV.
The HMDA official further said commuters claiming that FASTags would be only useful on ORR have not been opting for it. Explaining about the ETC system, he said, “FASTag is the pan-Indian ETC system promoted under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) Progr-amme under the Ministry of Road Trans-port and Highways (MoRTH), and is being rolled out as the RFID based ETC system on ORR.”...