FASTag is mandatory from 15th February, 2021.
Earlier FASTag was to have been compulsory from December 2019, but the government was force to delay it several times due to various reasons like many road users not opting for it, difficulty in enforcement and not all lanes at the toll plazas, being equip with the require FASTag readers etc.
The toll collection is now recording it’s highest ever revenues with FASTag becoming mandatory.
On 25th February, just 10 days after FASTag became mandatory, NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) said the toll collection reached the highest ever mark of Rs 103.94 crore with over 64.5 lakh daily transactions.
In fact the toll collection during the entire week was more than Rs 100 crore every single day.
How does FASTag Work ?
FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based technology, and it needs a tag reader at the toll booth to communicate with the FASTag card fixed on your vehicle’s windscreen.
Once both have establishe a connection via radio waves, then the toll amount is automatically deduct from your FASTag card and the electronically operated barrier lifts and lets your vehicle through.
But with FASTag, the chances of a vehicle driving through without paying toll are slim.
Electronic payment also means a direct deposit in a bank account, thus reducing mistakes in counting and collection.
Cash collection is also fraught with the danger of looting and thefts and to prevent this, most toll plazas, especially in states with law and order issues like Bihar and U.P, have armed guards posted 24×7.
FASTag main aims is to reduce the waiting time at toll booths and prevent the wastage of fuel due to crawling and idling.
The annual loss due to such fuel wastage is around Rs 15,000 crore, more than the toll collected every year!
Despite FASTag the waiting time has not reduced and traffic is still moving extremely slowly at toll booths, and even the NHAI has admitted this.
The NHAI has said it will draw a coloured line before every FASTag toll lane, and once the queue of waiting vehicles touches this coloured line, the toll operator will have to open the barrier for all vehicles in that lane and let them proceed without paying any fee.
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