Earlier in October, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that FASTags will soon be mandatory for all vehicles from December this year. In line with the same, sources at CNBC-TV18 suggests that the ministry is positive about implementing FASTags from December 1.
The central government is also reported to temporarily increase hybrid lanes on some toll plaza. In addition to this, the Road Ministry has also asked NHAI to make live feed of toll plazas public. Across India, nearly 430 toll plazas are ready for FASTag infrastructure as of now.
FASTags are part of the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). And we are seeing increased adoption of Fastags ahead of the mandatory implementation. According to the NPCI numbers shared with the media, as many as 9.67 lakh transactions were processed daily through FASTags across all toll plazas on national highways in India in the month of September, which is a total of 34% of all transactions done by vehicles commuting on the national highways.
A FASTag is essentially a tag that you attach to the windshield of your car, from the inside. This is Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) enabled and is linked with the registration details of your vehicle. As you drive through any toll plaza, there will be dedicated lanes that have FASTag readers installed overhead—and as your vehicle passes beneath them, the RFID code is detected, read, the necessary amount deducted from the prepaid balance and your journey through the toll plaza is authenticated. All without you having to stop, interact with a human being at a toll plaza or having to pay cash.