Hyderabad: The electronic toll collection (ETC) system introduced by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) proved to be ineffective when over 1.5 lakh vehicles swarmed on to the Outer Ring Road from Friday evening as families headed home for Sankranti.
Motorists waited for over an hour to pay the toll and cross over. Unfortunately, motorists holding FASTags were forced to wait in queues. The FASTags are equipped with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices through which payment can be made without the vehicle having to stop at the toll gates.
HMDA rolled out the FASTags on December 11, 2018 but failed to sell many, even though it was offered free for the first two lakh vehicles. This is because the authorities failed to create awareness and explain the benefits. Given the small number of users, HMDA did not create the mandatory separate lane for them. This resulted in about 700 FASTag owners having to wait in queues with the other motorists.
“There is no point in holding a FASTag when there is a one-kilometre long queue of vehicles at the toll plaza. The authorities have not created a separate line for FASTags holders, which will also be useful for raising awareness,” said Survam Ravindra Chowdary, a FASTag holder who was stuck in the jam.
“I could not find any difference in holding the FASTag. Like in previous years, I was stranded,” said another motorist, B.V. S. Raju....