FASTag Compulsory at All Toll Plazas of National Highways From December 1; Here’s How to Buy FASTag For Your Vehicle, Fines, How It Works and More
Toll Plaza (Representational Image/ Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, November 19: All vehicles plying on the National Highways across the nation will have to compulsorily carry a FASTag from December 1, 2019.  The rollout of electronic toll collection at all toll plazas of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will ensure seamless traffic and prevent congestion at toll plazas. From December 1, 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).

As per reports, one lane will be designated as a hybrid lane that will accept FASTag as well as other modes of payment. This hybrid lane will facilitate and monitor over-dimensional or oversized vehicles. This lane will also be converted into FASTag-only lane in a time-bound manner, a statement of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said. The National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, a FASTag lane in a toll plaza is reserved exclusively for the movement of FASTag users. FASTags to Be Available at Selected Petrol Pumps From Monday: 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. Nitin Gadkari Says 2019 Focus Will Be on Creating World-Class Expressways Network.

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.