New Delhi: You may soon have to install FASTag or electronic toll collection device in your vehicle or be ready to cough up double the toll fees as all lanes at the toll plaza will be converted into FASTag lane shortly. All lanes in the fee plazas shall be declared as “FASTag lane of fee plaza by December 1, 2019", according to a road ministry circular reviewed by Mint.
FASTag is an electronic toll connection device installed in the vehicle to enable drivers to drive through toll plazas without having to stop. The move is part of the government’s larger plan to promote digital payments at toll plaza and decongest national highways, thereby ensuring seamless movement of vehicles.
The circular, which is yet to be made public, further said to monitor movement of oversized vehicles, one lane in the toll plaza will be kept as ‘hybrid lane’ accepting FASTag and other modes of payment. However, such a lane will also be converted into a FASTag lane in a time-bound manner.
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 deducted from the bank account linked to FASTag.
Currently, there is a provision of making a vehicle owner pay twice the toll fee amount under the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008. The ministry has now said imposition of higher toll fee must be ‘strictly implemented’ if a non-FASTag vehicle enters the FASTag lane.
“Logistics and other implementation problems, which may lead to law and order problems at fee plazas, may please be identified and resolved," the circular addressing the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said, adding availability of adequate number of FASTags should be facilitated to encourage cashless payments at the toll plaza.