Motorists express disappointment over violation of express lanes by non-M-tag vehicles


Observer Report

Motorists and commuters have expressed their disappointment over what they called violation of the policy of restricting non-electronic tag vehicles to last two lanes at toll plazas on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway and Islamabad-Lahore Motorway to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
The NHA last year had decided that all vehicles entering the motorways should have electronic toll collection chip and started a campaign with great fanfare with June 12 date for strict implementation of the policy.
. However despite passage of over eight months, the NHA has so far has not banned entry of vehicles having no M-tag in the M-1 and M-2. Even NHA has tried to accommodate n-M-tag vehicles by reserving two lanes on both toll plazas at Islamabad but they do no care to follow the instruction and they hamper the follow of traffic by entering express lanes.
Shabbir Hussain, a public transport driver who drives a public service bus from Peshawar to Lahore said that though at toll plazas some lanes have been reserved for non-tag vehicles but the vehicles having no M-tag facility are seen in the express lanes hampering the flow of traffic.
He suggested that the NHA should adopt some punitive measures for entry of non-M- tag vehicles in M-tag lanes and impose fine on them.
A car owner, Amjad Mehmood who comes to Islamabad from Attack daily said he installed M-tag on his car in the hope that it would be helpful in avoiding long queues on toll plazas but obstinacy of some non-tag drivers has made the exercise a futile. He demanded strict implementation of m-tag and non-m-tag lane discipline of the toll plazas to avoid inconvenience to the drivers and commuters.
The NHA had announced in March last M-Tag registration of vehicles for uninterrupted passage of vehicle on Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M-1) and Islamabad-Lahore Motorway (M-2), Toll Plazas was mandatory from June 12, 2019.To facilitate the motorists to get M-tag installed on their vehicles NHA and Frontier Works Organization have set up customer care centres and facilitation points at all major toll plazas.
Electronic tag is a pre-paid RFID chip installed on a vehicle’s windscreen,when the vehicle approaches the toll plaza, the scanner automatically scans the chip, retrieves data regarding balance, the location of the entry, etc. When the motorist exits, the amount is deducted automatically, thus eliminating the need to stay and wait in the long lines.
When contacted, NHA sources said that the NHA and FWO made arrangements for segregation of M-tag and non-M-tag vehicles by reserving separate lanes for both categories and the system was working by and large successfully. However he admitted that some drivers were not following the directions which had been hampering the smooth flow of traffic. He asked the drivers realize its importance and install m-tag chip for hassle-free journey.