FASTag to be effective and mandatory from midnight of February 15/16 as the Government of India has declared over the matter.
- FASTag made mandatory from midnight of Feb15/16th of February, 2021.
- No more extensions will be given for FASTag deadline as declared by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
- To promote digital payments mode and thus reduce toll fee collection time thus reducing levels of air pollution.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has decided to make all the lanes of the Toll Plazas on every National Highways across India to be declared as “FASTag lane” and this to take effect from midnight of 15th February 2021. So, this means that according to NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or without valid functional FASTag entering into the FASTag lane of the fee plaza will have to pay a fee double the amount of fee applicable for that category in cash.
As per the Ministry, a statement was issued on 14th February where it has been mentioned that it has been done to promote Digital India and make more use of digital modes for Toll payments, which will result in less waiting time and low fuel consumption thus resulting in less pollution and also an easy passage through Toll Gates.
The fitment of FASTag for M&N categories of motor vehicles was mandated by the Ministry w.e.f 1st January 2021, where ‘M’ Category stands for a motor vehicle having at least four wheels used for carrying passengers and ‘N’ Category of motor vehicles are those with at least four wheels used for carrying goods and also passengers.
What is FASTag if you ask?
FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) and is an electronic toll collection system for some category of vehicles, operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). The FASTag was first introduced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway of Government of India. The measure was taken to solve Driver inconvenience at Toll Gates to pay toll fees and also for faster Toll Passage of Vehicle.
As per reports and articles from some news sources, annually an amount of approx Rs 12000 crores in total gets wasted at Toll Plazas. The primary cause of such a huge loss is due to fuel wastage for unnecessary long waits and exhaustion of people at toll plazas.
This also leads to other environmental effects like air pollution and the use of paper. As India is wort performing country when it comes to air pollution with more than 14 main cities showing considerably high levels of air pollution including the Capital, Delhi. The Toll plaza is one of the primary places that contribute to the rising air pollution levels across India. So the main reason behind the implementation of FASTtag and making it effective was to reduce Driver inconvenience, reduce pollution, reduce paperwork and promote digital payments.
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An Electronics Engineering graduate and with a passion for Automobiles a full-time Automotive Blogger.