The FASTag system of electronic collection that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) is gaining popularity as an alternative source of the cash payments at the toll plazas in the district. Out of the nearly 20,000 vehicles which pass through the toll plazas at Aganampudi and Vempadu each day, the National High Authority of India (NHAI) officials have said that around 3,000-3,500 vehicles affixed with the RFIDs are passing through the toll plazas daily.
One of the officials of the NHAI said that the logistics companies and travel operators are latching on to FASTag because it is easier to track costs related to toll plaza payments. It also reduces the cash that has to be carried by operators for making payments.
The deputy chief traffic manager of the APSRTC, Appala Narayana has said that they have already introduced FASTag in all the buses that are being operated between Vizag and Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Amalapuram, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and also on buses towards the north which operate on the routes of Ichhapuram, Berhampur and Srikakulam.
The deputy chief manager also said that they have been waiting to get cash back of 10% for using the FASTag. Generally around Rs 70 lakh is spent on toll per month for buses operating from Vizag to different routes. It has also been reportedly known through a source that a few private bus operators too have opted for FASTags as they don’t want to waste time in payments at the toll plazas.