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Compulsory FASTags since today; double toll charge for those without it

The NHAI has given instructions to concessionaires and toll plaza operators that it is appropriate to guide motorists without a FASTag to buy one on the spot.

The FASTag service for the automated payment of the toll tax on national highways is now available nationwide. Without it, the cars attempting to cross the toll places will now have to pay double fees as hybrid lanes have been withdrawn.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said that FASTags are compulsory from midnight on February 15.

'According to the NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not equipped with a FASTag or a vehicle not equipped with a legal, working FASTag entering the fee plaza on the FASTag lane shall pay a fee equal to twice the fee applicable to that group,' the ministry stated in a notification.

This has been achieved through digital mode to further encourage fee payment, reduce waiting time and fuel consumption, and ensure a smooth passage through the fee plazas.

Directions to concessionaires and toll plaza operators have been provided by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that motorists without a FASTag must be guided to buy one on the spot, trigger it and then enter the toll plaza.

Additional staff has been deployed by the authorities at toll places to direct motorists to the FASTag sales point, set up on the spot, in case they don't have one. On Monday, the FASTag counter at the Kheri Daula toll square near Gurugram in Haryana saw a huge queue of commuters ahead of the end of the deadline.

The FASTag for M&N categories of motor vehicles was mandated by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways with effect from 1 January this year; it was later extended to 15 February.

FASTag is a sticker that is stuck to the vehicle's windshield. It has a barcode for radio-frequency identification that is connected to vehicle registration information. It has five years of validity.

FASTag readers mounted there will deduct the appropriate toll automatically upon passing a toll plaza.

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