Pay Digital or Pay Extra: surcharge on cash payments at toll plazas soon

If you are still paying up toll tax by cash, think again. The Union Government is all set to introduce 10-20 percent surcharge on toll fees if and when paid by cash. The Union Government aims to smoothen the flow of traffic at toll plazas which often see long queues as people keep haggling for change due to the inefficiencies of cash.

The government has mooted the plan to decongest the toll plazas and bring a behavioural shift in the transporters/commuters to use digital transactions or FASTags, an RFID based system to pay without even stopping at the toll plaza. The RFID based card is linked with a bank account and makes payment while crossing the toll.

However, experts raised concerns on the proposal as the toll payment system is still not cutting edge, considering old plazas, that face networking and technical issues often. Hence, a binding order for an additional charge on cash payment of the toll will lead to voices of dissent along with other misunderstandings.

Currently, the government offers discounts on electronic payment of toll fees but now the equation is set to be reversed. A senior National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) official said the new proposal would get place in the new toll policy of the NHAI.

NHAI as of now offers a fixed discount in base rate on electronic payment of the toll. Now with the new proposal, a surcharge is to be added on cash payment depending on the impact of congestion, said the official.

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