Come December all the tolled National Highways (NH) across the country will be dedicated as FASTag Lanes except one “hybrid” lane at each toll plaza.
The “hybrid” lane will be used by users wishing to pay cash or by those falling under exempted category.
Those who even inadvertently try to get access through the FASTag Lane without having the coded tags on their windscreen will have to cough up double the value of the access points.
FASTag is an electronic toll connection device installed in the vehicle to enable drivers to cross toll plazas without having to stop. The Centre has mandated all the auto manufacturers to install during the production RFID cards valuing FASTag on the vehicle windscreen manufactured since last year and all new vehicles, including commercial ones are coming with them.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Friday in a meeting decided to declare all lanes in all toll fee plazas on NHs and NHAI (National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) controlled expressways across the country as dedicated Fastag Lanes from December 1 this year. The move is part of the Government’s larger plan to promote digital payments at toll plaza and decongest NHs, thereby ensuring seamless movement of vehicles.
As per NHAI information, there are about 500 toll plazas in the country and a total of 58 lakh FASTag vehicles are on road and rest of them has to get them installed to save penalty.
In a letter sent to NHAI on Friday, the Ministry asked the Authority to ensure strict implementation of the toll tariff rules at every toll plaza on the National Highways. One hybrid lane will, however, be allowed at every toll plaza to facilitate and monitor over dimensional or oversized vehicles, where Fastag and other modes of payment will be accepted. This lane will be converted into Fastag Lane in a time-bound manner.
A senior Ministry official said according to the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, a FASTag Lane in a toll plaza is reserved exclusively for the movement of FASTag users. Currently, there is a provision of making a vehicle owner pay twice the toll fee amount under the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008. The Ministry has now said imposition of higher toll fee must be “strictly implemented” if a non- FASTag vehicle enters the FASTag lane.
Fastag is attached to the windscreen and uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable direct toll payments while the vehicle is moving. The toll fare is deducted from the bank account linked to FASTag.
“Logistics and other implementation problems, which may lead to law and order problems at fee plazas, may please be identified and resolved,” the MoRTH order to NHAI said.
Saturday, 20 July 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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