Truck operators in several cities have claimed that e-payments at tolls are causing havoc. They claim that most of the toll systems do not have proper working systems causing a huge loss to fleet owners.
On an average, a fleet owner handles roughly 20- 100 trucks. According to them, they cannot afford to keep Rs.50, 000-Rs.1,00, 000 in their account for every truck and at the same time provide additional cash to the truck crew to pay up at “non-working” toll systems.
According to K. K Nareda, member, The All India Transport Welfare’s Association (AITWA),”the e-toll systems are designed in such a way that a vehicle cannot take more than five minutes to cross the 200 metre road stretch to the toll booth. However, most of the times, there is a long queue at the toll and vehicles take more than half an hour to reach it. This causes double debit from their account.”
Contrary to this statement, NPI officials said that although the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) had a few hiccups initially, the system has caught up and running well now.
Dilip Asbe, COO, NPCI said,” Every month about seven million transactions worth Rs.225 crores are carried out every month. It is about 15-16% of the total toll collected on NHAI toll plazes. Also, approximately 5 lakh FASTags have been issued, of which most vehicles are used for commercial purpose.”
Again, it has been observed that many tolls display e-payment signs without actually processing e-payments. This has caused several fleet owners to stay away from choosing FASTags. Many vehicle operators feel that there is no point in having FASTags as they don’t see any merit in using them and cash is still a preference among them.
Fleet owners also feel that though several toll booths do have new and operational systems, toll operators still prefer to collect payment in cash. This is done to avoid digital tracking of their income through e-payments.
In general, fleet owners are unwilling to keep large amount of money idle in their account for FASTag debit owing to the need of rotating cash for their everyday business needs. Thus, they are finding it difficult to make e-payments at the tolls.
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