The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) may soon impose a higher toll fee if drivers of vehicles without FASTag devices enter FASTag lanes. This device enables drivers to pass through the toll plazas without stopping.
The government took this step to ensure a seamless movement of vehicles at the plazas and that people install this device in their cars as soon as possible.
The FASTag concept was introduced four years ago in a bid to reduce cash handling, fuel consumption, and revenue leakage. It also promotes digital payments and increases transparency in processing transactions.
The FASTag device is attached to the windscreen and uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow direct toll payments while the vehicle is moving. The fare is deducted from the bank account linked to FASTag.
A government official recently said that the provision of a double toll fee was always present but never imposed. “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,” the official said.
Safety and law and order issues are common at toll plaza on highways, which includes toll tax attendants getting attacked or killed for attempting to stop vehicles escape the levy.
As of April 2019, 4.7 million tags worth Rs 585.38 crore have been issued by 22 banks at more than 496 states and national toll plazas in the country, as per the official data.