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FASTags mandatory from January: How do I get one, how much does it cost?

14th November, 2020 Economy

Context: From January, FASTag, India’s electronic toll collection chip for national highways, is going to be mandatory for all vehicles.

  • The government is keen on moving to a system wherein 100 per cent of the toll collected are through FASTag and no cash handling at toll plazas.
  • Already, over 80 per cent of all toll collected across national highways is through FASTag.

What is FASTag?

  • It is a sticker or a tag usually pasted on the windscreen of the car.
  • The device uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to communicate with scanner installed at toll plazas.
  • Once the car crosses the toll plaza the requisite toll amount is automatically deducted from a bank account or a prepaid walled linked to the FASTag.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) through its subsidiary Indian Highway Management Company Limited (IHMCL) sells and operates FASTag.

What will happen if you enter a FASTag lane without having a FASTag by mistake?

  • Ideally the highway marshals should not allow you to enter a FASTag lane. But in the event that you find yourself in a FASTag lane, double the toll amount is to be paid.
  • Even if your FASTag is not functional due to some damage to the RFID or it does not have enough balance, you are liable to pay double the toll amount.