On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal inaugurated the radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology at 13 toll booths in the capital, which will deduct toll automatically from commercial vehicles. A visit to six places by The Indian Express Tuesday, however, suggested that the system is yet to become fully operational.
At several places, toll was being collected manually in RFID lanes; private vehicles were seen entering the RFID lane meant for commercial vehicles; and vehicles were seen trying to pass without paying the toll, leading to jams. At some places, system glitches led to first-day hiccups.
The South Corporation has said the RFID system will be in place at Kundli, Rajokri, Tikri, Aya Nagar, Kalindi Kunj, Kapashera, Shahdara (main), Shahdara (flyover), Ghazipur (main), Ghazipur (old), DND Flyway, Badarpur-Faridabad (main) and Badarpur-Faridabad (flyover) toll plazas. At eight of these locations, though, the system has been running on a trial basis for the last six months, said officials.
At Ghazipur (main) toll plaza, civil and electrical work was underway, with officials saying it will take a day or two for the system to be up and running as they are yet to install cameras, barricades, computers and other equipment. “We are hoping to finish the work by tomorrow. There are some finishing touches left,” he said.
At Ghazipur (old) toll plaza, while barricades and cameras had been installed, the RFID lane earmarked for commercial vehicles had private vehicles and two-wheelers entering them.
Additional Commissioner, South MCD, Randhir Sahay attributed the chaos to commercial car owners, most of whom, according to him, had not installed RFID tags on their windshield.
“Once car owners get RFID tags installed, the problem will be fixed,” Sahay said, adding that there is also a lack of discipline among commuters with private vehicles entering lanes meant for commercial vehicles.
Officials at the site echoed Sahay’s version, saying that most people either did not have RFID tags installed, or had not got it recharged.
The corporation claims to have sold over 40,000 RFID tags till now. Officials at Kalindi Kunj and Badarpur toll plazas in South East Delhi said it may take over a week to get the system operational. “The systems at Kalindi Kunj and Badarpur are not working yet, and we are working to fix the problem. In 8-10 days, the RFID sensors will start working,” said Binayak Dhal, assistant project manager of MEP Infrastructure Developers Ltd. The infrastructure company, which began operations Saturday, is developing Delhi’s toll plazas under an agreement with SDMC.
“Sensors are working but some of them are not reading the tag properly. For now, we are letting vehicles pass. The sensors will start running properly in a couple of days. We are working on the issue,” said Sudhir Deshpande, director general manager, MEP Infra.
“Meanwhile, we are advertising the technology as most people don’t know about it yet,” he said.