The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Thursday has mandated passengers to attach FASTags on the windshields of their vehicles starting January 1, 2021. The guideline issued by the ministry regarding FASTags pertains to the process of toll-collection. All vehicles passing through a toll plaza need to have the FASTag affixed to their windshields.
The rule is to be applied to 'M' and 'N' categories of motor vehicles sold before December 1, 2017, both of which cater to vehicles having at least four wheels. While the former category comprises passenger motor vehicles with at least four wheels, category 'N' stands for motor vehicles with at least four wheels used for carrying goods. Vehicles falling under the 'N' category may also carry people along with goods.
At hybrid lanes of the toll plazas on National Highways, payments in cash will also be accepted until February 15, 2021. All other lanes, including the current FASTag lanes, are to use the stickers to deduct the cash automatically.
The ministry had informed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in a note on Thursday that it can continue collecting requisite documents needed to issue a FASTag latest by February 15, 2021.
Earlier in November this year, the ministry had announced the mandatory use of FASTags starting January 1, 2021 for vehicles sold before December 1, 2017 by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules of 1989. Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari had also announced on December 25 that FASTags will be made mandatory from the first day of 2021.
The use of FASTags had been mandated for vehicles' National Permit last year on October 1.
The Indian government is planning to appropriate a cashless transaction system for toll collection starting next year, and has also informed about its plan to implement 100 per cent e-tolling starting January 1. For this, the ministry has directed toll plazas to declare all lanes but one as reserved for FASTag users.
The FASTag is a sticker that has an integrated radio-frequency Identification (RFID) barcode, which is linked to the registration details of the respective vehicle. At passing through a toll plaza, FASTag readers at the spot will read the barcode and deduct the appropriate amount accordingly. A FASTag will remain valid for five years from the date of issuance.