Home / News / India /  Government targets higher adoption of FASTag

NEW DELHI : Drivers of vehicles that do not have the FASTag device installed may soon have to pay twice the toll fee on entering the FASTag lane.

The device, when installed in the vehicle, enables drivers to drive through toll plazas without having to stop.

The government is mulling imposing a double toll fee if non-FASTag vehicles enter the FASTag lane in an bid to ensure seamless movement of vehicles in the lane and get more people to adopt FASTag.

FASTag is attached to the windscreen and uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable direct toll payments while the vehicle is moving. The toll fare is directly deducted from the bank account linked to FASTag.

“There is already a provision of higher toll fees, as per the highway fee rule. But we have never imposed it," a senior government official said, requesting anonymity. “We are now discussing the implementation of higher toll fee for vehicles plying on FASTag lane, without installing the device in their car/vehicle."

The timeline and the move will be announced by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The idea of higher toll to impose discipline on the highway is a good idea, but enforcement could be a challenge, an expert said.

“Here, governance could be an issue. At times, disputes and arguments arise when people enter the wrong lane, ultimately leading to toll plaza congestion. The enforcement of this is a challenge," Vishwas Udgirkar, Partner at Deloitte India said, adding that, at times the mere payment of toll fees creates law and order issue.

Safety as well as law and order issues are not uncommon at toll plaza on highways, including cases of toll tax attendants being attacked or killed for trying to stop vehicles evading the levy.

Udgirkar also pointed out the NHAI is likely to get the additional toll amount collected, and therefore “what benefit will the concessionaire get out of all this?"

Implemented over four years ago, FASTag was rolled out by the ministry of road transport and highways to cut cash handling, promote digital payments, reduce fuel consumption and revenue leakage, and increase transparency in processing transactions.

As ofend of April, 4.7 million tags worth 585.38 crore have been issued by 22 banks at over 496 state and national toll plazas in the country, according to official data.

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