FASTag Must, Else Double Toll – What Are the Rules?
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that only 10 percent of people are yet to switch to FASTag.
After multiple extensions, the Union Transport Ministry said that any vehicle passing through NH toll plazas without a FASTag from the midnight of 15-16 February will have to pay up twice the toll charge.
The ministry said that the deadline for the implementation of FASTag would not be extended further and that the vehicle owners should immediately adopt the e-payment facility.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had introduced electronic toll collection through FASTag across the country back in 2014, but it was an optional system. Toll plazas had separate lanes dedicated to tag users, but the system wasn’t quite effective.
What is FASTag?
FASTag is an electronic toll payment system that helps people make contactless payments at toll plazas, which should theoretically reduce traffic congestion and wait times. People need to buy the FASTag, which is an RFID sticker, from any issuing bank or payment providers like Paytm.
How does it work?
After you buy a FASTag from an official tag provider or from an issuing or participating bank, it has to be stuck to the windscreen of the vehicle. As soon as your car goes near a toll booth, the sensor on the toll plaza scans the FASTag installed on the windscreen in your car, with the help of a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
FASTag deducts the fee charged at that toll plaza from your account. You will have to keep recharging your account electronically to pass through more tolls. The validity of a FASTag is up to five years. After five years, a new FASTag will have to be installed on the vehicle again.
What documents do I need to get a FASTag account?
To buy a FASTag, one needs to provide documentation similar to opening a bank account. Here are the list of documents one would need to open a FASTag account:
- Vehicle Registration Certificate (RC) to be scanned and uploaded
- Passport size photo of the vehicle owner
- Know Your Customer (KYC) documents of the vehicle owner and any document containing the address of the house.
If you are buying a FASTag through your own bank or Paytm and you have already got your KYC requirements completed, only the vehicle RC is needed.
How can I recharge my FASTag account?
You can recharge your FASTag account through a credit card, debit card or net banking. One needs to recharge the FASTag account with at least Rs 100 and a maximum of Rs 1 lakh.
Apart from this, you can recharge the FASTag account through SBI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Punjab National Bank, among others. It can also be recharged through payment services provider Paytm.
How do I know that the money has been deducted from my account?
Whenever you cross a toll plaza with FASTag on the vehicle, the information about how much has been deducted from your account will be sent to you through an SMS. The toll plazas will also have electronic boards that will display the deducted amount and the remaining balance.
This can also be checked through the FASTag app available on the Android and IOS app stores.
When was this introduced in India?
The Union Ministry of Transport on 7 November had mandated FASTag for all four-wheeler vehicles from 1 January 2021 onwards. The decision was invoked via amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, reported IANS.
The government earlier extended the mandatory FASTag roll out date to 15 December, which was extended to 31 December on 29 December 2019 by Nitin Gadkari. Due to a shortage of tags in the market, the last date was again extended to 15 January 2020, for the last time.
Earlier, it had been decided that from 1 December 2019 onwards all four-wheelers, trucks and buses will have to pay toll electronically on Indian highways through a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag called a FASTag.
(With inputs from NDTV and Hindustan Times.)
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