All lanes at toll plazas to be ‘FASTag lanes’ from 1st Dec

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to declare all lanes in all toll fee plazas on National Highways across country as dedicated ‘FASTag lanes‘ from 1 December 2019.

Key Highlights

Objective: To ensure seamless traffic and prevent congestion at toll plazas. It is also a part of Centre’s plan to promote digital payments at toll plazas and decongest national highways.

Hybrid Lane: Among all lanes, only one hybrid lane (where FASTag and other modes of payment will be accepted) will be allowed at every toll plaza. This is to facilitate and monitor over-dimensional or oversized vehicles. However this lane will also be converted into FASTag-only lane in a time-bound manner.

Penalty: After 1 December 2019, non-FASTag users will be charged double fees if they pass through FASTag-only lanes. However currently under National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 there is a provision of making a vehicle owner pay twice toll fee amount but MoRTH now seeks to strictly implement imposing higher toll fee if a non-FASTag vehicle enters the FASTag lane.

Way Ahead: Availability of adequate number of FASTags should be facilitated to encourage cashless payments at toll plaza.

NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) has also been asked to identify and resolve logistics and other problems that are likely to lead to any law and order problem in this venture of FASTags lanes.

What is a FASTag?

It is an electronic toll connection device which is installed in vehicle (mostly attached to windscreen) to help drivers to drive through toll plazas without having to stop.

FASTag uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable direct toll payments while vehicle is moving. The toll fare is deducted directly from prepaid of saving bank account linked to FASTag.

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