In a bid to enhance digital toll collection, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Wednesday decided to waive off the FASTag cost of Rs 100 for 15 days — from February 15 to February 29.
The government’s decision came two months after it was announced that around 560-odd plazas under the control of NHAI will collect toll without human intervention, and vehicles need not stop to pay the toll. NHAI had stated that the objective was to remove bottlenecks and capture all toll electronically.
“In order to further increase digital collection of user fee via FASTag at NH fee plazas, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to waive off the FASTag cost of Rs 100 for NHAI FASTag between February 15 and 29, 2020,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI.
Commuters can approach any authorised point-of-sale location with a valid registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle and get an NHAI FASTag free of cost, it added.
NHAI FASTags are available at all national highway fee plazas, regional transport offices, common service centres, transport hubs, and petrol pumps, among others, the ministry informed.
“To search for the nearest NHAI FASTag point-of-sale locations, one may download MyFASTag App, or visit http://www.ihmcl.com or Call 1033 NH helpline number,” the statement said.
However, the applicable security deposit and minimum balance amount for FASTag wallet will remain unchanged.
NHAI had earlier announced for free NHAI FASTag from November 22 to December 15 last year. Once the system is fully implemented, NHAI expects Rs 100 crore toll income per day.
How does FASTag work?
The device employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it. It is affixed on the windscreen, so the vehicle can drive through plazas without stopping. RFID technology is similar to that used in transport access-control systems, like Metro smart card.
If the tag is linked to a prepaid account like a wallet, or a debit/credit card, then owners need to recharge/top up the tag. If it is linked to a savings account, rthen money will get deducted automatically after the balance goes below a pre-defined threshold. Once a vehicle crosses the toll, the owner will get an SMS alert on the deduction. In that it is like a prepaid e-wallet.
A FASTag is valid for five years, and can be recharged as and when required.
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