FASTag will be mandatory for motorists using the national highways from January 15, 2020, after the government extended the new rule of mandatory FASTag for another month. The previous December 15, 2019 deadline was extended by 30 days owing to a shortage of tags in the market. This means motorists have until January 15 to get their vehicles fitted with FASTags that essentially pays toll automatically when the vehicle crosses the boom barrier of the toll plaza. Ahead of the official FASTag rollout, we take a look at five things to keep in mind:
What is FASTag?
FASTags are prepaid rechargeable tags that will allow for automatic toll collection at electronic toll collection gates, thanks to RFID-powered technology. The tag needs to be affixed on the windscreen of vehicles so the user does not need to stop at toll plazas to pay the toll as the amount is automatically deducted through FASTag.
Close to 560 plazas under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will collect toll via FASTags. Once the vehicle crosses a toll, the user will get an SMS with details of deduction.
Why is FASTag necessary?
Though one hybrid lane will continue to accept cash at the highways, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has announced that vehicles running without the FASTag after January 1, 2020, will be charged twice the normal rate at the toll gates.
What is the deadline to buy FASTag?
The initial deadline for the full rollout of FASTag across lanes of national highway toll plazas across India was December 1, 2019, but it was extended till December 15. Now, the new deadline is January 15, 2020, after the NHAI in a letter to the Road Transport and Highways Ministry requested the deferment of the full rollout of the new system citing a “supply-deficit” in the market of FASTags.
How to buy FASTag, what is the price?
FASTag can be bought via e-commerce portals such as Amazon, Paytm, and Airtel Thanks app or at 27,000 Point-of-Sales set up by 23 banks and the NHAI at Road Transport Authority offices, transport hubs, bank branches, and select petrol pumps. A FASTag will be valid for a period of five years.
Those who buy FASTag from NHAI will need to pay a one-time fee of Rs 100 in addition to a refundable security deposit of Rs 150. The cashback of Rs 150 will be credited to the user as wallet value if the FASTag is linked to the NHAI e-wallet in the “My FASTag app” mobile app.
How to activate and recharge FASTag?
To active FASTag, users will need to install the ‘My FASTag’ app on their smartphone. In the app, users are required to enter their vehicle details and link any of their existing bank accounts. In this case, the toll will be deducted automatically from their linked bank account and there is no need to recharge the tag separately. FASTag can be bought and recharged online via Paytm as well, though users will need to put in the front and back photos of their vehicle’s RC.
NHAI Prepaid Wallet is another option. Users can select from several payment options like Debit Card, Credit Card, net Banking, UPI, Paytm, Google Pay, and more to add money in their FASTag account.
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