Government Extends Mandatory FASTag Roll Out Date To Dec. 15
Vehicles stop at a toll gate in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg)

Government Extends Mandatory FASTag Roll Out Date To Dec. 15

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The government on Friday announced extending the date to Dec. 15 for making FASTag mandatory for toll payments on national highways.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had earlier announced that from Dec. 1, toll payments on highways would be accepted through FASTags only.

"To facilitate sufficient lead time to citizens to obtain FASTag, it has now been decided that all the lanes in the Fee plazas shall be declared as 'FASTag lane of Fee Plaza' by Dec. 15, 2019," a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways communication said.

The National Electronic Toll Collection programme, the flagship initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has been implemented on a pan-India basis in order to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of user fee as per the notified rates, using passive radio frequency identification technology.

Over 70 lakh FASTags had been issued till Wednesday, with the highest per-day issuance of 1,35,583 tags on Nov. 26, 2019, whereas 1.03 lakh tags were issued on the day before.

The average daily issuance had grown by 330 percent from 8,000 in July to 35,000 tags sold in Nov. 2019 after the government announced to implement it from Dec.1.

After the announcement of waiver of tag cost from Nov. 21, there has been a growth in FASTag issuance.

To give a fillip to digital payments and bring in enhanced transparency, the ministry had directed to declare all lanes of fee plazas on national highways as 'FASTag lanes' by Dec. 1.

However, one lane in each direction was decided to be kept as 'hybrid lane' which will accept FASTag and other modes of payment.

"With the above mandate, average daily transactions processed through FASTag have grown from 8.8 lakh in July this year to 11.2 lakh transactions in November 2019, while the average daily collection has grown from Rs 11.2 crore to Rs 19.5 crore for the given period," the ministry has said earlier this week.

All the available mode of recharges such as debit card, credit card, net banking and Unified Payments Interface have been enabled for loading money to the FASTag account.

A customer may call on the helpline number, '1033', for any assistance related to FASTags, the ministry said and added that they can also reach out to the banks to obtain FASTags.

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