The Centre has exempted select toll plazas with high cash transactions to temporarily allow not more than 25% hybrid lanes accepting both cash and online transactions - for toll collection.
This comes after the National Highways Authority of India(NHAI), which is implementing the electronic toll collection (ETC) program, raised 'concerns' regarding high cash transactions at 65 identified toll plazas in the country.
Around 535 toll plazas under NHAI have been equipped with ETC, and barring 65 of these, the remaining toll plazas have to mandatorily convert all lanes barring one in each direction into FASTag lanes January 15 onwards.
NHAI must ensure that the least possible number of the declared FASTag lanes be converted into the hybrid lanes temporarily and further that at least 75% lanes of these 65 fee plazas remain declared and operational as FASTag lanes in order to incentivize the vehicles carrying FASTags, the note said.
Since the transport ministry declared conversion of all lanes at toll plazas on national highways into FASTag lanes in July 2019, toll collection via FASTags has increased to 60%, as compared to less than 20% in July. NHAI has registered its highest toll collection of Rs 86.2 crore in a single day through FASTag earlier this week, Sandhu said.