FASTags help you zip past toll plaza queues
FASTags are prepaid tags which allow the payment of toll charge without the collection of cash. The move is in keeping with the push towards a cashless-economy.
HYDERABAD: In light of a December 1 deadline set by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 17 toll plazas in the state under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will migrate to the FASTag system. FASTags are prepaid tags which allow the payment of toll charge without the collection of cash. The move is in keeping with the push towards a cashless-economy.
Confirming the development, A Krishna Prasad, regional officer, NHAI Hyderabad, said, “We are transitioning to FASTag at 17 toll plazas in the state. The move will ensure hassle-free driving for thousands of commuters who travel along the national highways.” He added that from December, those who do not paying through the tag will be charged double the toll amount.
A majority of the toll plazas fall on NH 65 Hyderabad to Vijayawada, NH 44 connecting Hyderabad and Bengaluru, and NH 163 between Warangal and Hyderabad. While trial runs were already being conducted at a majority of the toll gates, the NHAI aims to make FASTag mandatory.
Prasad said that in the past week, there has been a 20-40% increase in purchases of FASTags at stalls placed near toll plazas.
The tag affixed on the front windscreen of vehicles uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to deduct toll fees. One can recharge the tag online or through banks. Some private services are also offering a 2.5% monthly cashback the toll spent for customers taking a FASTag before March next year.
The news of introduction of FASTag was greeted with cheer by most commuters. Suresh P, who travels to Bengaluru often, said, “It will be a huge relief to be able to zip past the toll booth, rather than wait in queue for our turn to pay up. This model has been adopted by several countries, and has worked successfully.”
Ranjith Kumar, who also used national highways frequently, said, “I finally won’t have to fumble for change at the toll gate. The wait is often annoying when we are travelling long distances.”
While welcoming the move Malcolm Wolfe, a road transport expert suggested a few changes. He said, “FASTag should be person-specific and transferable to a similar vehicle type. This is a bit complicated, but worth it if we can implement it.”