NHAI issues FASTag for quicker pass-through at toll booths
NEW DELHI: To facilitate seamless traffic on highways, NHAI has decided to offer FASTag to the existing monthly pass holders at select toll plazas.
The development assumes significance, given that India runs up huge loss of $21.3 billion annually on account of delays and additional fuel consumption due to frequent halts at toll plazas and poor roads, according to an IIM-Kolkata and TCI joint study.
“In order to promote cashless payment through FASTag at toll plazas on National Highways, NHAI has decided to provide FASTag to existing monthly pass holders by absorbing the one-time cost of their FASTags,” National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said in a statement.
FASTag, based on radio-frequency identification technology (RFID), is a simple-to-use, reloadable tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets one pass through the toll plaza without stopping for cash transaction.
In another key decision, a dedicated FASTag lane will be ensured at 48 toll plazas on Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Chennai corridors effective June 20.
“To facilitate purchase of FASTag by road users, points of sale at 23 toll plazas are available on these corridors,” the statement said.
The ones on the Delhi-Mumbai corridor are Manesar, Thikariya (Jaipur), Kishangarh, Narayanpura, Paduna, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharthana (L&T Karjan), Choriyasi, Boriach, Bhagwada, Charoti and Khaniwade.
Those on the Mumbai-Chennai route include Khalapur, Khed-Shivapur, Tasawade, Hirebgwadi, Guilalu, Chokkenahalli, Kulumpalya, Electronic City, Krishnagiri and Sriperumbadur.
Out of these, 19 sales points are already working and four will be added in a week.
That’s not all. To promote efficient movement of passenger and goods on these high-traffic density corridors, NHAI will embark on awareness drives and other related activities.
FASTag offers near non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas and convenience of cashless payment with a nation-wide inter-operable Electronic Toll Collection Services.
FASTag is operational at more than 325 toll plazas on National Highways across the country.
“FASTag has a one-time fee of Rs 200 and is affixed on the wind screen of the vehicle. It employs RFID technology for making toll payments directly from the pre-paid account linked to it,” the statement said.
These can be recharged by making payments through cheque or online through credit card/debit card/NEFT/RTGS or even Net banking.
“The minimum recharge amount is Rs 100 and can be up to Rs 1 lakh in the multiples of Rs 100. FASTag users shall get SMS alerts for all their toll transactions, low balance and the like,” the statement said.
The government has allowed NHAI to give 10 per cent cashback incentive on toll payments in 2016-17 for FASTag users.
The cashback amount for a particular month is credited back to the FASTag account at the beginning of the next month.
“Use of FASTag shall increase user convenience from payments without stops at toll plazas, thus saving on time, money and fuel. The online payments shall improve transparency of toll transactions and reduce revenue leakages, thus improving overall efficiency and commercial competitiveness,” the statement said further.
NHAI is committed to providing safe, smooth and seamless journey to commuters on National Highways, it said, adding that implementation of FASTag is one step that will help realise this goal.