Bhubaneswar, Feb 6: Long wait at toll plazas could soon be a thing of the past. In a bid to make road travel hassle free and quick, the Odisha Government in collaboration with the State Bank of India, has launched the ‘FasTag’ services in the state-owned OSRTC buses.
‘FasTag,’ an initiative launched by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and National Highway Authority of India, is a smart toll tax collection mechanism which enables vehicles to pay toll tax, while on the go.
In Bhubaneswar, the initiative was launched by State Commerce and Transport Minister Nrusingha Charana Sahu in the presence of Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda, Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena, MLAs Priyadarshi Mishra and Bijay Mohanty.
As per the mechanics, each of the OSRTC buses will be provided with a ‘tag,’ displayed at the front of the bus. The ‘FasTag’ holders will have a separate lane at the toll plaza. Once the bus enters into the dedicated lane, the RFID (Radio-Frequency identification) technology will immediately track the bus identification and deduct the toll charges online.
“This initiative will help in clearing weekly profit and will be more effective for the commuters,” said KB Singh, CMD, OSRTC.
The technology will not only result in saving commuting time, but also help save fuel and clear traffic faster.
In addition, the Ministry of Roadways will also provide 7.5 per cent discount on vehicles using these tags. Currently, OSRTC pays Rs 1.70 crore annually as fees at different toll booths.
The ‘FasTag’ system will be operational in all the 180 toll booths in the state. Come April, and the State Transport Department is likely to make the system mandatory for all the Government and private buses.