FASTag mandatory to avail toll discounts
Centre has made it mandatory to allow only FASTag users to avail any discount on toll charges at highway toll plazas in a bid to promote the digital mode of payment, according to notification issued on Tuesday.
The ministry of road transport and highways on Tuesday amended the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 to allow discount for users who make the return journey within 24 hours and all other local exemptions only if the vehicle carries a valid functional FASTag. HT has reviewed a copy of the notification.
“In order to promote usage of digital payments for availing all discounts on the Fee Plazas of national highways, the amendments to the Rules are made which would enable- discount on return journey within 24 hours, it would be through FASTag or such other device and automatic. There will be no requirement for a pass,” a ministry official said.
“The fee payable towards discounts ashall be paid through pre-paid instruments, smart card or through FASTag or on board unit (transponder) or any other such device only. The amendment would also enable that in cases where there is a discount available for a return journey within 24 hours, there is no need for a prior receipt or intimation and the citizen would get the discount automatically if return journey is made within 24 hours with a valid and a functional FASTag on the vehicle,” the official added.
FASTag is a radio frequency identification sticker typically fixed to a vehicle’s windscreen that allows for the deduction of toll wirelessly and automatically without requiring a vehicle to stop at plazas. The tags were introduced to encourage digital payments and to end congestion and reduce waiting time at toll plazas.
The Centre mandated that all lanes of toll plazas on national highways be declared FASTag lanes by December 15 to reduce bottlenecks along the national highways. It also relaxed its rules to allow at least a fourth of the lanes at toll plazas to allow both cash and FASTags payments for a period of 30 days. That ended on January 15