The Indian government has made it mandatory for all vehicles to use FASTag starting January 1 next year. The guideline issued by the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways pertains to the process of toll-collection, and all vehicles passing through a toll plaza are to have the FASTag affixed to their windshields.
Here is all you need to know about FASTag:
FASTag and its validity
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.
According to Nitin Gadkari, this is to eliminate stoppage time at the plazas while also reducing the need for human interactions and cash transactions. The Minister for Road, Transport and Highways also mentioned that the system will lead to fuel conservation while also economising people's time.
A FASTag will remain valid for five years starting the date of issuance.
People applying for FASTags will need to present all the registration documents for their vehicles, along with personal identification details for a mandatory KYC process.
When applying at banks, as well as other platforms such as Paytm and Airtel, presenting solely an RC report will suffice.
Where to get a FASTag?
There are several banks and e-commerce platforms that the Centre has partnered with to enable the distribution of FASTags. Currently, banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda among others are offering the stickers.
Other platforms such as Amazon, PayTM, and Airtel Payment app are also distributing the tags.
ICICI Bank has collaborated with Google in order to enable its customers to pay for the FASTag using the latter's payment service app - Google Pay.
People can also purchase a FASTag at certain toll plazas across the country.
Adding money to a FASTag
A FASTag wallet will be created by partnering e-commerce platforms for applicants buying the stickers and money will directly be deducted from the wallets.
The same mechanism works when buying the tags from a bank. Users will have to ensure required balance in their bank accounts as money will directly be deducted from them.
Mobile payment banks, as well as Airtel Payment will also enable users to recharge the FASTags through the use of debit cards, credit cards, and other payment options including UPI.
While the FASTags are mandatory for the general public, certain groups of people including politicians, judges, emergency service workers, among others are exempted from the need to have the sticker attached to the windshields of their vehicles.
In other news, Nitin Gadkari had also announced earlier this month about India's plan to be a toll-booth-free nation in the next two years, by adopting the GPS technology for toll collection.
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