In view of the approaching deadline for complete rollout of the electronic toll collection system, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday directed the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway concessionaire to replace 15 radio frequency identification (RFID) readers at the Kherki Daula toll plaza within a month’s time.
The concessionaire, however, stated that since replacing RFIDs was an expensive undertaking, the work would be done when it is added to their contract.
“Independent consultant has directed the MCEPL to replace all the old RFID readers within 30 days,” NHAI Gurugram project director Ashok Sharma said.
In a letter to the Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL) NHAI Gurugram officials asked the contractor to replace the old RFID readers, which are not working properly, so commuters don’t get stuck in jams. It currently takes vehicles an average of 20 minutes to cross the toll plaza, commuters said.
Also Read: Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway project: NHAI to start work on 300 km stretch in Punjab; details
Officials added that the situation at Kherki Daula toll plaza must improve before February 15—the deadline for complete compliance of the electronic toll collection.
“Each RFID costs us around ₹2 lakh. If we go on to buy 15 such devices, it will cost us a lot. The NHAI should compensate us for replacing these RFID tags,” MCEPL chief executive officer S Raghuraman said.
Responding to the caveat, NHAI officials said that replacing RFID machines was part of the concessionaire’s work and it was covered by the agreement signed between the NHAI and MCEPL in 2014. The RFID tags were last replaced at the Kherki Daula toll plaza in 2018.
Commuters who cross the toll plaza regularly said that RFIDs at only two-three FASTag lanes work properly, and that in the rest of the lanes they have to wait for an average of 15-20 minutes. They said toll operators scan the FASTag at every booth with hand held machines as the RFID readers don’t catch the frequency.