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ANNOUNCES ENFORCEMENT OF MANDATORY FASTAG FROM 1ST JANUARY 2021

ANNOUNCES ENFORCEMENT OF MANDATORY FASTAG FROM 1ST JANUARY 2021

Context

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs announced that FASTag is being made mandatory for all vehicles in the country from January 1st 20221.

Details

  • The FASTags were launched in the year 2016, and four banks together issued nearly a lakh of them. By 2017, their numbers went up to seven lakh. Over 34 lakh FASTags were issued in 2018.
  • As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, since 1st December 2017, the FASTag had been made mandatory for all registration of new four-wheeled Vehicles and is being supplied by the Vehicle Manufacturer or their dealers.
  • FASTag decision being taken in order to promote the faster payment of fees through the digital mode so that vehicles can move through seamlessly, and traffic jams at the toll plazas can be prevented.
  • Though, among all lanes, one ‘hybrid lane’ will 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.

About FASTag

What is Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)?

ETC is the Electronic payment of highway tolls without human intervention. ETC systems use vehicle-to-roadside communication technologies to perform an electronic monetary transaction between a vehicle and the toll collection agency.

What is FASTag?

  • FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it.
  • It is affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle and enables you to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for cash transactions.
  • FASTag has a validity period of five years which can be recharged as and when required after initial purchase once.

Advantages of Using FASTag in the Indian Transportation Industry

  • It helps in reducing fuel wastage and emanating pollution due to long waiting times at the toll plazas. Successful implementation of Electronic Toll Collection system on all the major national highways would help save approximately 87,000 crore INR annually.
  • It can help the government in identifying the quantum of road use and the various types of vehicles passing through. This thus will aid budgets for road widening and other infrastructural expenses.

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