The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has started rolling out RFID tag that helps in the electronic payment of toll charges free at its toll plazas that will continue till March 1, reported Hindustan Times.
NHAI said in a release that with nearly 60 lakh transactions, the daily toll collection through FASTag hit a record Rs 95 crore on Wednesday. NHAI further added that users without FASTags will have to pay double the toll amount in cash.
In case of any technical errors at toll plazas, users will be allowed to cross the plazas without paying a single penny, as long as there is balance in the tags, said NHAI officials.
In just two days of the NHAI mandating electronic toll payment, FASTag usage has reached the level of almost 9 in 10 users. To improve FASTag adoption amongst users, NHAI said that FASTag can be availed for free from 770 toll plazas on National and State highways across the country till March 1.
NHAI said, in a release, that it witnessed a record sales of over 2.5 lakh tags reported in the last two days.
To keep a check on the FASTag balance users can go to the ‘My FASTag App’ and check the balance status. The app now shows FASTag wallet balance status in colour codes. With sufficient balance, the colour code will show green, orange for low balance and red for the negative balance. The release added that users will now be able to recharge immediately via the app or at a recharge facility at a toll plaza point of sale.
Airline CEOs, Biden Officials Consider Green-Fuel Breaks
Chief executives of the nation’s largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels.
The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also touched on economic policy and curbing the spread of COVID-19 travel has been a vector for the virus. But industry officials said emissions dominated the discussion.
United Airlines said CEO Scott Kirby asked administration officials to support incentives for sustainable aviation fuel and technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. In December, United said it invested an undisclosed amount in a carbon-capture company partly owned by Occidental Petroleum.
A United Nations aviation group has concluded that biofuels will remain a tiny source of aviation fuel for several years. Some environmentalists would prefer the Biden administration to impose tougher emissions standards on aircraft rather than create breaks for biofuels.
Biofuels are false solutions that dont decarbonize air travel, said Clare Lakewood, a climate-law official with the Center for Biological Diversity. Real action on aircraft emissions requires phasing out dirty, aging aircraft, maximizing operational efficiencies and funding the rapid development of electrification.
Airplanes account for a small portion of emissions that cause climate change about 2% to 3% but their share has been growing rapidly and is expected to roughly triple by mid-century with the global growth in travel.
The airline trade group says U.S. carriers have more than doubled the fuel efficiency of their fleets since 1978 and plan further reductions in carbon emissions. But the independent International Council on Clean Transportation says passenger traffic is growing nearly four times faster than fuel efficiency, leading to a 33% increase in emissions between 2013 and 2019.
The U.S. accounts for about 23% of aircraft carbon-dioxide emissions, followed by Europe at 19% and China at 13%, the transportation group’s researchers estimated.
The White House said McCarthy, Buttigieg and economic adviser Brian Deese were grateful and optimistic to hear the airline CEOs talk about current and future efforts to combat climate change.
Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America, said the exchange was positive.
Airlines are ready, willing and able partners, and we want to be part of the solution” to climate change, Calio said in a statement. We stand ready to work in partnership with the Biden administration.
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