The government is all set to achieve seamless road travel throughout the country with electronic toll collection booths. Starting from 1 December 2019, vehicle owners who have not registered with FASTags will be fined double the toll charges.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has declared that all toll plazas across the national highways will be ready with the electronic debit system linked to RFID-based FASTags. The FASTags are supposed to be fixed on the vehicle windscreens. This enables people to drive by the toll booths without having to stop to make payments.
The vehicle owners are, therefore, informed to get their FASTags as soon as possible in order to avoid paying twice the toll fee as a penalty. This penalty system is said to be implemented very strictly. The government had announced the plan to implement FASTags on 9 July 2019.
According to the latest amendment made to National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, the lanes at toll plazas will be reserved only for FASTag users. Though one hybrid lane will be set up at every toll plaza for over-sized vehicles where FASTags and other modes of payments will be allowed, it will eventually be phased out.
The ministry had deployed special officers to monitor and confirm that all the toll plazas on all national highways are 100% electronic toll-compliant by 1 December 2019. It was noticed that most commercial vehicles have embedded the FASTag to their vehicles. However, private car owners are still switching over.
Going forward, there can be options for people to recharge their FASTags in a way similar to how they recharge mobile phones.
The electronic toll collection system has been adopted in all toll plazas of Delhi-National Capital Region. Other states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Punjab have also been completely equipped with the required infrastructure. Currently, more than 80% of toll plazas on national highways have the electronic infrastructure set up in all lanes.
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