FASTag payments at toll plazas compulsory
Four-wheeler passes through a toll plaza, there will be dedicated lanes that have FASTag readers installed overhead—and as your vehicle passes beneath them, the RFID code is detected.
Come December 1, transactions at all toll plazas across India will shift to FASTag. According to a notification only one lane would be allowed to accept toll in cash mode from December. FASTags are part of the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and make contactless payments at toll plazas on national highways.
FASTags are the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and will be pasted on the windshield of the vehicle. The tag has an RFID chip on board, which becomes the unique identity of a vehicle and helps in toll collection. The unique ID will be connected to the prepaid account of the user and will automatically deduct toll charges when the vehicle passes through the toll lanes. As a four-wheeler passes through a toll plaza, there will be dedicated lanes that have FASTag readers installed overhead—and as your vehicle passes beneath them, the RFID code is detected, read, the necessary amount deducted from the prepaid balance and your journey through the toll plaza is authenticated.
This means that any vehicle, private or commercial, which has the FASTag will be able to swiftly make pass through toll plazas without being in the queue.
The tags were launched in 2016 in order to make the passage of vehicles across toll plazas smoother, which will cut journey times and also save fuel. Starting December 1, only one lane would be allowed to accept toll in cash mode.
With the deadline fast approaching, officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have appealed to four-wheeler owners to get the FASTag from the toll plaza operators. ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and State Bank of India offer FASTags service. In addition, FASTags will also be available online from Amazon and even some petrol pumps.
As of now, it is estimated that more than 30 per cent of toll paid on the National Highways is now through FASTags. Motorists paying the toll through FASTag will also get a 2.5 per cent cashback of the total toll paid.