Is there a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) or a smart tag on your vehicle? If yes, then you might just get a free ride on the highway. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to introduce a new norm in its existing rules according to which commuters can get a free ride if the smart tag scanner installed at the toll plaza is unable to process it. This way if the commuters with an RFID or a smart tag on their vehicle and has enough balance to pay the toll charge will be allowed to travel free is there the scanner fails to work due to any sort of malfunction in its system. According to the Times of India, while this will be the norm for all new contracts, NHAI will introduce this provision in the existing contracts after the amendment of rules.
A NHAI official while talking about the new provision said that a proposal for the same has been sent to the highways ministry for amendments to be made in the existing tolling norms. The official said that the system will kick in as soon as all lanes are equipped to process electronic tags. He added that this norm will be applicable at toll plazas that have come up on stretches widened or built by NHAI. “We are going to start signing the subordinate agreements with private players, who are operating the BOT projects,” said the NHAI official.
The report further added that a smart tag scanner is currently installed on each side of the 414 toll plazas and they are able to process the RFID tags. Additionally, all lanes at 110 plazas have been fitted with this system. The NHAI is working towards upgrading all the lanes of the remaining toll plazas to read RFID tags and process them. The National Highways Authority of India is likely to complete the whole upgrading system in the next three months. Another official while talking about the system said, “Why should the commuter be made to pay and face hassle for failure on the part of the toll operators when he has already got the smart tag and put money in advance for a smooth drive?”