Promotion of FASTags Lanes
To increase road speed of vehicles on Indian roads, The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MRTH) has decided to declare all lanes as dedicated FASTag Lanes from 1st of December, 2019.
All toll-free plazas on the National Highways across will become FASTag lanes from the cutoff date.
What is a FASTag lane?
- As per the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules adopted in 2008, a FASTag lane is one which a toll plaza is reserved exclusively for the movement of FASTag users.
- To decrease usage by non-FASTag users, they would be charged double the fee if they pass through FASTag lanes.
What happens now?
- The MRTH has asked the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure the strict implementation of FASTag exclusivity and recover charges from defaulters expeditiously.
- For the time being, One hybrid lane will be allowed at every toll plaza to allow the movement of large vehicles.
- However, this lane too will be converted into a FASTag lane gradually.
Why was this decision taken?
The decision was taken by the MRTH to promote a faster payment of fees through the digital mode. This will ensure that the vehicles will be able to move through the lanes seamlessly. It will avoid traffic jams at the toll plazas.
What is FASTag?
The FASTag is an RFID based identification based tool that is fixed on the windscreen of the vehicle. This allows for direct payment of road transport fee from any prepaid or savings account linked to the FASTag and enables the vehicles to drive through the lanes without stopping for transactions. However, at times, even non-FASTag users use the FASTag lanes and have to stop to make cash payments, causing the crowding of the FASTag lanes and led to traffic congestion at the plaza.