FASTags will help in government’s plan to decongest national highways.
From December 1, electronic toll collection device FASTags will be made mandatory on national highways throughout the country.
Individuals not using a FASTag will be charged double the toll, according to a government notification.
One lane at all toll plazas will be retained as "hybrid lanes" that will accept all other modes of payment.
The payment method is a part of the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) collects the payments.
Soon, FASTags will be integrated with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) e-way bill system.
The GST Council has already given the green signal for an MoU between the Indian Highways Management Company (IHMCL) and GST Network (GSTN).
What are FASTags?
A FASTag is a reloadable electronic toll collection card meant to be stuck to the windscreen of a vehicle.
It eliminates the need to stop for toll payment, and eases movement of vehicles.
The system at the toll plaza uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to deduct the payment from the user's account. The reader at the toll plaza detects the card when the vehicle is 25 metres away.
How is a FASTag account created?
A FASTag account is created after providing the vehicle registration papers, required identity proof for Know Your Customer (KYC) - Aadhar card, PAN card, or driving license - and an address proof. A passport size photo of the individual is also required.
Seven banks are currently linked with FASTag - SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Paytm Payments Bank and Equitas Small Finance Bank.
Recharging the card can also be done through the My FASTag app, which accepts UPI, netbanking and debit/credit card payments.
How to buy a FASTag?
FASTags can be bought at toll plazas, some banks and they are also available on Amazon India.
They can be purchased from over 28,500 point-of-sale locations set up by various banks and IHMCL/NHAI which includes all NH fee plazas, RTOs, bank branches, and selected petrol pumps, according to the government notification.
A one-time tag deposit amounted is charged, which starts at Rs 200 (for cars, jeeps and vans) and goes up to Rs 500 (for trucks and tractors), according to the official website.There have been reports of technical glitches during the initial rollout of FASTags, But the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials have said that the technical issues will be resolved and more employees will be deployed during the migration, according to a report in The New Indian Express.