New Delhi, February 16: All vehicles plying on the National Highways across the nation will have to compulsorily carry a FASTag from today onward. The rollout of electronic toll collection at all toll plazas of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is done to ensure seamless traffic and prevent congestion at toll plazas. Today onward, all the payments at the toll payments will be only via FASTag under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme, which is an initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
Vehicles without FASTag would have to to pay double the toll fee at electronic toll plazas, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said. There will be no cash lane and all lanes in the fee plazas on National Highways shall be declared as 'FASTag lane of the fee plaza'. The deadline for implementation of FASTag system, which facilitate electronic payment of fee at toll plazas, was extended a couple of times. The facility was introduced in 2016. FASTags to Be Available at Selected Petrol Pumps: How Can They Save You From Long Toll-Booth Queue?.
How Does a FASTag Work
A FASTag is a reloadable tag which enables automatic deduction of charges at toll plazas. After December 1, non-FASTag users will be charged double the fee if they pass through FASTag-only lanes. The radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based FASTag is affixed on the windscreen of a vehicle. The tag allows for direct payment of fee from the linked prepaid or savings account. If a user doesn't have a FASTag on their vehicles, they will be charged double the fee in cash for passing through a FASTag-only lane.
How to Get a FASTag for Your Vehicle
Any individual can use the FASTag payment facility as the FASTag is available in major banks including State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. The payment facility is also available on IndusInd Bank, Paytm Payments Bank and Equitas Small Finance Bank.
The FASTag is linked to the customer's savings account. Once the commuter enters the FASTag lane, the toll fee is automatically deducted from the account when the registered vehicle passes through a toll plaza. According to the official website of the SBI, the bank charges a fee of Rs 100 for issuing the RFID tag (FASTag) across categories, according to its net banking website - onlinesbi.com.
The online NHAI FASTag shall be available for cars, jeeps and vans for now. In May 2019, the government stated that FASTags are now available on Amazon to further promote digital payment of toll for seamless traffic. According to reports, the online NHAI FASTag shall be available for cars, jeeps and vans for now.
Benefits of FASTag
The FASTag is a prepaid tag facility that will enable commuters for cashless automatic deduction of toll charges. This means, the vehicle won't be stopped at the toll plaza for a cash transaction, thus enabling faster and more hassle-free movement.
The government decided to introduce FASTag in a bid to promote the faster payment of fees through the digital mode so that vehicles can move through seamlessly. Moreover, once the initiative is implemented across all the National Highways, traffic jams at the toll plazas can be prevented.
At present, even the non-FASTag users (who don't have the FASTag) have been passing through FASTag lanes and making cash payments. This defeats the purpose of the FASTags as there is too much traffic on the lanes and overall traffic congestion at the plaza. The necessary civil and electronic infrastructure at all toll plazas have been made available for the successful implementation of the initiative.