Though today is the last date for compulsory implementation of FASTags on National Highway Toll Plazas, the government has relaxed to the rule to facilitate people, saying that at least 75 per cent lanes at toll plazas must use the electronic toll collection FASTag. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in order to avert inconvenience to citizens, has said that up to 25 per cent of FASTag lanes at the national highway toll plazas can be treated as hybrid lanes for a month, which means they will accept cash till January 15, and people still have time to buy FASTag.
"Considering the request of NHAI and further the citizens are not put to inconvenience... it is decided that depending on the traffic pile-up at high traffic volume fee plazas, not more than 25 per cent 'FASTag lane of fee plaza' may be temporarily converted to hybrid lanes," the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said.
The ministry said this would be considered on a case to case basis and a daily evolution would be made to take necessary corrective action. A least possible number of the declared FASTag lanes should be converted into hybrid lanes and at least 75 per cent lanes at every fee plaza should remain operational as FASTag lanes, the statement said, adding that it's a "temporary measure" to be adopted for 30 days only.
The deadline for the implementation of FASTags was extended to December 15 from December 1 earlier. The initiative under the National Electronic Toll Collection programme (NETC) is being taken to save fuel, time and pollution and to ensure seamless movement of traffic. As per the government, all fee plazas have been equipped with an electronic toll collection system.
Here's all you need to know about FASTags:
What is FASTag?
FASTag uses radio-frequency identification (RFID), which enables automatic deduction of toll charges at NHAI toll plazas. The tag must be linked with your adequately funded prepaid or savings/current account. But if it is linked to a prepaid account, you need to recharge it as per usage. After the tag account gets active you can affix the tag on the windscreen of your vehicle. It enables you to drive through toll plazas, without having to stop to pay.
What happens if you don't have a FASTag?
You need not worry if you have not got a FASTag as you can still pay cash at the toll plaza. However, the government has decided to charge double the user fee from vehicles without FASTag. NHAI FASTag will continue to be provided free of cost till today.
Why is FASTag important to get?
The government has made FASTags mandatory for all the vehicles from December 15, 2019. Not using the FASTag method for toll payment may lead you to pay double. Also, the inadequate amount in your tag will get your vehicle blacklisted at the toll plaza and again, you may end up paying double.
How to get FASTag for your vehicle?
You can obtain FASTag for your vehicle from any toll plazas across the states or from issuer agencies. You can also purchase it from any National Electronic Toll Collection member bank and get yourself registered. All you would need to carry is a registration certificate of your vehicle, a passport size picture of you, address proof, original as well as a copy of your KYC document along with the vehicle at the POS (Point of Sale)/Sales office.
What are the charges for FASTags?
The issuer bank/agency will charge a one-time joining fee of Rs 200. The FASTag charges and security deposit refund depends upon the type of vehicle. Vehicle owners are advised to check fee details on the official website of the issuer agency.
What are benefits of using FASTags?
The government is offering 2.5 per cent cashback on toll payments on using FASTag at toll plazas. Also, the FASTag ensures non-stop movement of vehicles to avoid road congestion.
Can you use one FASTag for two vehicles?
No. FASTag is vehicle specific, which means, once affixed to a vehicle, it cannot be transferred to another vehicle. In case you lose it, you will have to call the customer care number of the issuer agency to block your FASTag.
Edited by Manoj Sharma