The central government is planning to roll out complete GPS-based toll collection within a year. If this plan follows through then toll booths will be defunct in the country. The announcement was made by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in Lok Sabha.
"I want to assure the House that within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. It means that toll collection will happen via GPS. The money will be collected based on GPS imaging (on vehicles)," Gadkari said.
The minister said that 93 per cent of vehicles pay toll using FASTag but remaining 7 per cent are yet to adopt it, despite paying double toll.
Gadkari said that he has instructed police inquiry for vehicles that are still not paying toll using FASTag. He said that there are cases of toll thefts and GST evasion if FASTags are not fitted in vehicles.
The minister also said that new vehicles have FASTags fitted in them.
From February 16, the government made it mandatory for vehicles without FASTag to pay double toll at electronic toll plazas. FASTags enable payment to be made electronically ensuring vehicles pass through toll plazas seamlessly. The simple-to-use, reloadable tag allows automatic payment of toll once the vehicle passes through the toll plaza. The tag is linked to a prepaid account, which is used for the transaction. The tag uses Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and is pasted on the windscreen.
HOW TO BUY FASTAG
FASTags are easily available at toll plazas. Vehicle owners can go to any of the Point of the Sale (POS) locations at toll plazas/issuer agencies to create their FASTag accounts.
Buyers can also use apps such as Paytm and Airtel Payments Bank, as well as banks including SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank to buy the tags.
FASTag is valid for five years from the date of issuance.
There is a one-time fee of Rs 200, while reissuance costs Rs 100. Refundable security costs Rs 200.