Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announced on Thursday, December 24, that FASTag will be mandatory for all vehicles in the country from January 1.
Enumerating its benefits, he said, FASTag is useful for commuters as they will not need to stop at toll plazas for cash payments, adding that it will also save time and fuel.
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.
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 ministry said steps to ensure the availability of FASTags through multiple channels are being taken. They will be available at physical locations as well as online. The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme has been implemented on a pan-India basis to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of user fee as per the notified rates using passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
(With PTI inputs.)