As part of Indian government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative, electronic toll collection through the incorporation of FASTag was implemented from December 15, 2019 on all national highways across the country. Under this initiative, NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) will enable toll collection through FASTag with only one lane available for collection through cash. However, 65 toll plazas have been identified by NHAI across the country that still carry out high cash transactions and will need to be swiftly reformed towards digital payment mode.
The government has suggested certain temporary measures for the next 30 days for these 65 toll plazas to facilitate smooth flow of traffic and no inconvenience to the citizens.
Taking NHAI’s request into consideration, the Government has decided the following –
- Considering the traffic pile up at selected 65 toll plazas where high cash transactions have been detected, not more than 25 percent of the FASTag lanes will be converted into hybrid lanes. These lanes would accept cash as well as the RFID scans. The regional officers have been instructed to consider this on a case to case basis. The ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) has sent out instructions for daily evaluation, necessary corrective actions and summary report from the concerned authorities of NHAI.
- MoRTH has also asked NHAI to ensure that the least number of the FASTag lane of the toll plazas are converted into hybrid lanes temporarily. Furthermore, gradually, at least 75 percent lanes of the 65 toll plazas would be declared as ‘FASTag lane’. This is intended to further incentivise the vehicles carrying FASTag.
The digital system has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and is based on the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme. In the next 30 days, NHAI aims to ensure smooth flow of traffic through the toll plazas while promoting cashless digital payment through the FASTag for all the lanes.
Also read: How does FASTag work?
OMCs ink MoU with IMHCL for rolling out FASTags for toll and fuel payments