The toll collection through FASTag crossed Rs 80 crore per day for the first time on December 24, with record 50 Lakh FASTag transactions in a day. With over 2.20 crore FASTag issued to date, adoption of FASTag by the highway users has seen unprecedented growth. This has not only helped highway users save time and fuel but also gave a boost to the Centre's Digital India drive.
Notably, FASTag has been made mandatory for vehicles from January 1. The government has asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to make all necessary arrangements to provide seamless movement of vehicles at fee plazas.
As per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, since December 1, 2017, FASTag has been made mandatory for registration of new four-wheelers. It was also mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate of a transport vehicle will be done only after the vehicle concerned has a FASTag. For National Permit vehicles, the fitment of FASTag has been mandated since October 1, 2019.
A valid FASTag would be made compulsory for getting a new third-party insurance. This will come into force from April 1, 2021.
The FASTags were launched in 2016, and four banks together issued nearly a lakh of them. By 2017, their numbers went up to seven lakh. Over 34 lakh FASTags were issued in 2018. The Road Transport Ministry had in November this year issued a notification also making FASTag mandatory from January 1, 2021, for old vehicles or that were sold before December 1, 2017.
Where to get FASTag
FASTag is available at over 30,000 points of sale (PoS) across the country and mandatorily available at NHAI toll plazas. You can get it online through Amazon, Flip Kart and Snapdeal.
Total 27 issuer banks have been roped in and people can use other recharge facilities such as Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), UPI, online payments, My FASTag Mobile App, PAYTM, Google pay and others, to make payments.
In addition, cash recharge facility is also being provided at Toll Plaza PoSs for users.
How FASTag works
FASTag uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that provides users with a smooth and effortless cross-over at toll plazas without waiting. The payment is made digitally through the FASTag linked to the bank wallet.
As social distancing has become the new norm, commuters are increasingly looking at FASTag as a toll payment option as it nullifies the chances of any human contact between the drivers and the toll operators.