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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

FASTags on all state roads from January

mumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2019 01:23 IST

While the Central government is looking at making radio frequency identification (RFID)-based FASTags mandatory on national highways from December 15, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is looking at making it mandatory on all state roads from January 1, 2020.

The system, first introduced in 2016, lets toll booths automatically deduct the fee as vehicles pass through, so that they don’t have to stop to pay money.

The move is aimed at easing congestion at toll plazas and reducing traffic bottlenecks.

From December 15, MSRDC will be introducing FASTags only on the NH-48 (Old Mumbai-Pune highway) and the Mumbai-Pune expressway.

FASTags will be introduced on Mumbai’s five toll points (Dahisar, Vashi, Airoli, LBS Marg and Mulund) and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link from January 1. According to a 2018 study, close to six lakh vehicles enter the city every day via the five toll points.

Dr Bharat Bastewad, general manager for toll collection, MSRDC, said, “We are implementing FASTags at the NH-48 and Mumbai-Pune expressway from December 15. In Mumbai and the rest of the state, we will need some more time as the contractors will have to make changes in the system. However, we have already given instructions to all contractors.”

MEP Infra, which operates toll booths for MSRDC, has its own RFID system at toll booths, but MSRDC wants to bring in uniformity in the method of collection across the state.

In September 2018, MSRDC had also tested FASTags at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

Wasim Maniyar, who travels from Mumbai to Nashik every weekend, said he has bought a FASTag last week at the Vashi toll naka. “It will be useful if it is implemented everywhere at one go. A lot of time gets wasted just waiting in the queue,” Maniyar said.