Road Minister Nitin Gadkari has directed NHAI to issue FASTags free of cost to people from Thursday (November 21) till December 1.
Free FASTag will be available at all points of sale of NHAI and will also be made available at other places with high potential of sales, Gadkari announced.
"The ministry is submitting deposit money of Rs 150 on behalf of the user for now. We are giving it for free to promote its use. We will see what happens on December 1," Gadkari added.
Almost 90 percent toll plazas are ready with FASTag infrastructure as of now and only some very new toll plazas will face teething issues.
"17 toll plazas will have hand-held equipment. We are confident of 100 percent implementation," the minister added.
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. The government is confident that it will be able to smoothly implement FASTag mechanism across all 537 toll plazas from December 1, officials said.
"If there are some minor issues at some toll plazas in the initial days, then we may allow more than one hybrid lane there," a source had said.
The current mechanism of FASTag allows one hybrid lane which can accept cash and cashless mode of transaction.
Gadkari has also directed NHAI to ensure the 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.
"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 Dec 1 rollout deadline.
The government has decided to deploy a Central Prabhari Officer in states to monitor the preparedness and ensure the operation of 100 percent electronic tolling. The officers are required to take steps to fill the gaps and undertake three visits of a 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 passenger. This is expected to enable a smooth flow of traffic and reduce pollution.
First Published: IST