FASTag will ensure cashless transactions in toll plazas across India; will reduce travel and waiting time
All the four-wheelers across the country sold from December 1, 2017 including passenger and commercial vehicles have to be equipped with FASTag. Union ministry of road transport and highways has issued a notice making it mandatory for all the four-wheelers. This device will be available from the authorised dealers across the country. With this rule implemented, the dealers will have to install the device before delivering the vehicle or it can be installed by owner for driveaway chassis before registration.
The FASTag device will be attached to windscreen of the vehicles and the chip in uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that will automatically deduct the toll charges from a prepaid account linked to it by the vehicle owner. This way, the FASTag will ensure cashless transactions in all the toll plazas across India and it will reduce the travel time and traffic congestion significantly and therefore save money and fuel as well. Also, this service is likely to help in tracking the vehicles as well.
The FASTag devices are available in common service centre at the 371 national highway toll plazas and four banks across the country that are SBI, HDFC, ICICI and Axis Bank. Road transport ministry has directed all the toll plazas of the country to reserve an exclusive FASTag lane as well reportedly.
The vehicle owners will be able to recharge the prepaid accounts as per their need by using credit card, debit card, NEFT or RTGS and net banking as well. With the toll fee deducted from their FASTag account they will receive an SMS on their registered phone numbers.
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However, there are confusions regarding the mandate as well. It is not clear from where the devices have to be sourced and what will be the selling price of the FASTag device. Warranty of the device is also a concern. The vehicle owners who will buy the FASTag, will have to submit their identity proof, copy of vehicle registration card and a passport-size photograph at the common service centre or at the authorised banks during purchase.