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Issues With Fastag Hold Up Traffic At Khed Shivapur, Khalapur Toll Plazas, ET Infra


PUNE: From non-functional FASTag scanners to ignorant motorists, a host of issues plague Khalapur and Khed Shivapur toll plazas, leading to inordinate delay in vehicular movement on Pune-Mumbai expressway and Pune-Bengaluru highway.

“I was stuck at Khalapur toll plaza for almost 20 minutes at 11pm about a month ago because of some technical issues with the FASTag scanners. And that was the last time I opted to travel on the expressway. After the bitter experience, I have been taking the old highway,” said Chinmay Shaligram, a commuter.

Like Shaligram, several commuters TOI reached out to complained about the non-reliable FASTag scanners at the two toll plazas. “In such a situation, toll collectors have to manually scan the stickers with a sensor stick or ask the car driver to move the vehicle till the sensor detects the sticker. This leads to traffic congestion at the plazas,” a frequent commuter, who did not wish to be named, said.

Some commuters also complained of technical glitch showing less or no balance in their FASTag wallets in spite of sufficient recharge. The toll collectors then demand the vehicle users to make the toll payment manually, leading to unnecessary arguments and delays, they said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)’s Pune project director, Sanjay Kadam, blamed the traffic holdup at the toll plazas to ignorant motorists entering the FASTag lanes without the stickers on their vehicles.

“The slow movement of vehicles at the toll plazas happens as vehicles without FASTag stickers enter the dedicated lanes for the online payment system. The crowding is not happening because of issues with the FASTag system or its scanners. More time is wasted as motorists tend to get into unnecessary arguments and fights with the toll plaza officials,” Kadam said.

Besides, wrong-side driving and illegal parking near Shindewadi were leading to traffic problem on the expressway stretch. “A road diversion has been created at Shirwa near Shindewadi, around 30km from Khed Shivapur, for the construction of a flyover. Many locals are, however, parking their vehicles and getting involved in wrong-side driving, resulting in traffic issues. We have reached out to the police and even stationed a marshal to streamline traffic movement,” he said.

Kadam said the slow movement of vehicles was more pronounced during the weekends because of substantial increase in traffic.

Activists Sanjay Shirodkar said non-functional FASTag scanners were an infrastructure problem and the affected motorists must be compensated. “Toll plazas are also severely underreporting the number of vehicles passing through them,” he said.

An MSRDC official said the heavy traffic on the expressway was the main reason for slow movement at the toll plazas. “FASTag scanners are working fine. We check them regularly. At times, some glitches do happen, but they are fixed promptly. If there is heavy traffic owing to weekends or holidays, the traffic is bound to slow down. Our teams ensure minimal waiting at the toll plazas,” he said.

  • Published On Jan 5, 2024 at 04:30 PM IST

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