Come December, owners of vehicles without FASTags will have to cough up twice the normal rate at toll gates as the government gears up to achieve seamless road travel nationwide by making collections electronic.
The highway ministry has declared that from December 1, toll plazas across national highways will be equipped to electronically debit amounts from accounts linked to RFID-based FASTags affixed on vehicle windscreens, enabling people to drive through without stopping to make payments.
We are moving swiftly on the December deadline, while encouraging vehicle owners to adopt FASTags at the same time,” a senior government official told ET. “If you go into the electronic toll collection lane without a FASTag, you pay twice the toll.” “This is something we are going to implement very strictly,” the official said.
ET reported on July 9 the government’s plan to make FASTags mandatory for payment of toll across national highways.
According to the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, lanes at toll plazas will be reserved exclusively for FASTag users. Non-FASTag users will be charged double the normal toll if they pass through FASTag lanes, according to the rules.
While one hybrid lane will be allowed at every toll plaza to facilitate and monitor over-sized vehicles where FASTag and other modes of payment will be accepted, it will eventually be phased out, officials said.
Last week, the ministry of road transport and highways deployed officers to monitor the rollout and implementation of 100% electronic toll collection facilities at all toll plazas by December 1.
The ministry appointed Central Prabhari Officers in various states to monitor preparedness for the transition and to coordinate with the National Highways Authority of India, the implementing agency, to fill gaps in infrastructure.
The official said that while most commercial vehicles have opted for FASTags, private car owners are still switching over.