The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has mandated the use of FASTag across all tolls in the country from December 1st.
These FASTag devices work on the Radio Frequency Identification technology and will automatically deduct the amount that has to be paid at the toll booth. The barricade will then be lifted for the vehicle to pass. The tags can be purchased at designated spots across the city and can be recharged by multiple ways including digital payments.
Roads with toll will reserve only one lane for cash payment and this is expected to increase the duration of waiting time. Traffic jams on the road to the airport in Bengaluru is also expected. Cab drivers and vehicles without FASTag will be restricted to this single lane and will also have to pay double the amount of the toll.
Cab drivers in Bengaluru have asked for a waiver from NHAI and a manual bill copy of the toll amount that is to be paid. As of now, they will receive an SMS and an email of the bill copy, however, according to cab drivers, passengers often demand copies of the toll bill and this will not be possible under the current circumstances. Most cab companies pass on toll fees to the passenger who has to pay the amount in the final bill.
NHAI has refused to grant any relief in this regard.
Currently, the one-way toll to cross the Trumpet interchange is Rs 85 and two way is Rs 130.
Passengers also fear that now the cab drivers may choose the infamous Begur-Bagalur road which is toll less and unsafe, especially for women passengers. Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao had only last month warned cabbies from plying on this road after a couple of incidents including the murder of a model from Kolkata took place.