Around 800 eligible government vehicles have been given toll exemption so far directly on FASTag system itself, said Kamlakar Phand, Chief General Manager (tolls), MSRDC. Of which 250 are of post office, fire brigade and remaining of legislators, Ministers, judges. The numbers may increase further.
A meeting was held in office of state Chief Secretary regarding how the toll exemption provision can be implemented. As MSRDC is slowly converting all toll plazas under its jurisdiction into FASTag lanes except just one/two lanes that are reserved for Hybrid payments --Cash, non-FASTag users especially for vehicles coming from outside the state. It asked all such govt. offices to provide data of vehicles that can avail the benefit of toll exemption as per the notification.
Phand explained that it was necessary. Like for instance, the Bandra Worli Sealink has been converted into complete FASTag. It has only one Hybrid lane and if the toll exempted vehicles use this lane, long queue will be seen. To avoid queue and provide seamless traffic movement at every toll Plaza, MSRDC has asked all such departments like Mantrayala, Post Office, State Legislature, court and other essential service offices like Fire Brigade, Ambulances to provide the data of such vehicles to exempted from toll.
Meanwhile, Phand asserted, "Now it is not possible to cross the toll Plaza by showing some identity card or putting stickers on vehicles like Press, Police, Government Officer. Also, there is no point in talking to the people working at toll plazas, because if one is eligible for toll exemption they can apply and get the exemption which is done digitally. Otherwise charges will deduct from their linked account with FASTag. This will also eliminate the verbal spat at toll plazas which have been reported in the past."
In Maharashtra MSRDC controls 40 toll plazas and remaining are with PWD. The toll exemption will be applicable only on MSRDC controlled plazas only.