After clearing several obstacles, the HMDA has decided to implement the e-toll system (ETC) across toll plazas on the Outer Ring Road from December 11. According to officials, all glitches have been cleared during the trial run and the system would ensure seamless travel. The HMDA has come up with a slew of offers for drivers.The HMDA has tied up with bankers and decided to issue two lakh radio frequency identification device (RFID), FASTags, and has decided to offer 50 per cent discount for the return trip and 33 per cent discount on monthly passes. The system will cover all 19 interchanges on the ORR and is expected to result in efficient toll collection with advantages including reduction in transaction and waiting time, reduction in queues and fall in vehicle emissions.
ICICI Bank, which is the banking partner, has established a point of sale at Shamshabad, Nanakramguda and Patancheru where the tags will be sold initially. For road-users to understand the new system, signages are being placed at interchanges and toll booths informing drivers on how to use FASTag lanes.
FASTag is the pan-India ETC system promoted by the National Electronic Toll Collection Programme under the ministry of road transport and highways, and it is being rolled out as a RFID-based system. Motorists have to purchase the RFID card enabled with reader strips and affix the same on the vehicle windscreen. Upon scanning the reader strip at the toll booth, the data will be sent to the central server, which flashes the entry and exit points of the particular vehicle.
Boom barriers at the toll gates will give clearance to vehicles after scanning. Under the ETC system, three types of toll collection will be permitted – manual, touch-and-go swipe card (non-frequent users) and RFID tag smart cards that are planned for frequent users. It will provide additional benefits like being analytics friendly. The system has smart features that automatically detect commuters who misuse the system and charge them the maximum possible toll fee on the ORR. As part of this, trials and tests have been conducted jointly with the present toll collection agency IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited, system integrator Efkon and banking partner ICICI.
Commuters who are equipped with FASTags can enjoy the benefits on the ORR that they currently have at the national highway toll plazas. Drivers who want to enrol with FasTags can visit any of the three toll plaza points of sale (PoS). As demand increases, PoS will be set up at more toll plazas. Tags will be issued free to all vehicles.
In addition, for the first two lakh vehicles falling under the cars/mini vans/jeeps category, no security deposit will be charged. Commuters can opt for a monthly pass online or at the PoS for travel between any two toll plazas. The passes are valid for 50 one-way trips in a month. Commuters will also automatically get a discount for one return trip between a set of toll plazas within a 24-hour period. HMDA commissioner B. Janardhan Reddy conducted a review meeting recently at the ORR Project Office, Nanakramguda.