The government has announced that it will make FASTags or electronic toll collection system mandatory from December 1. As of now, around 430 toll plazas are ready with the FASTag infrastructure, people aware of the development said.
The government is confident that it will be able to smoothly implement FASTag mechanism across all 536 toll plazas from December 1, officials said.
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"If there are some minor issues at some toll plazas in the initial days, then we may allow more than one hybrid lanes in those toll plazas," a source said.
The current mechanism of FASTag allows one hybrid lane which can accept cash and cashless mode of transaction.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also asked National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to make the live feed of toll plazas available in public domain, people aware of the development told
"We have been in communication with the NHAI for the past 15 days with regard to this matter. We are asking NHAI to make the live feed of toll plazas available in the public domain either on the FASTag application or on a website. This will help in an effective assessment of FASTag mechanism and will also lead to greater transparency," a person aware of the development said.
Currently, the live feed of toll plazas is available only with the local administration and there is no central feed access available with the NHAI.
"This will need some IT infrastructure. The process may take some time but this is the direction we want to work towards," another person aware of the matter said.
On Wednesday, road minister Nitin Gadkari also directed NHAI to ensure deployment of best technology to make
FASTag project successful.
Gadkari also directed NHAI to regularly review the project at the highest level and asked the authorities to set up an on-the-spot mechanism for issuing FASTags for the vehicles entering dedicated FASTag lane.
"The project should be implemented in the spirit of minimizing waiting period at the toll plazas so that the users benefit in terms of fuel and time saving, while the society benefits in terms of reduced vehicular emission," Gadkari directed the NHAI ahead of the December 1 rollout deadline.
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The government has decided to deploy a central prabhari officer in states to monitor the preparedness and ensure operation of 100 percent electronic tolling. The officers are required to take steps to fill the gaps and undertake three visits of minimum of three days at appointed places between November 17 and December 10.
A FASTag is an electronic toll collection system whereby the toll fee will be instantly debited from the FASTag fixed on the windshield of a vehicle. This is expected to enable smooth flow of traffic and reduce pollution.While new cars come with FASTag which can be activated, for old cars, FASTags are being made available through kiosks set up by tag-issuer banks and also through online platforms.