FASTag at toll plazas must from January 1

Beginning January 1, vehicle users need to be more careful as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided that user fee at all toll plazas across the country would be collected only through FASTag.

This means, all the lanes on toll plazas, including those in Telangana, would be FASTag-enabled only. While 70% of the vehicle users have already purchased FASTag stickers from either banks or the point of sales (POS) opened at the toll plazas, the NHAI is keen that the remaining 30% vehicles also have FASTags.

The NHAI functioning under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in a circular dated December 4, had issued detailed Standard Operating Procedures for 100% implementation of FASTag from January 1. It may be mentioned here that the NHAI had decided to implement FASTag from December 1 last year but it was put off by a fortnight due to poor response from the motorists.

In a bid to avoid inconvenience to travellers, the NHAI has decided that vehicles without FASTag can get it at all the toll plazas. It also wanted the concessionaires to provide high-performing Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) infrastructure. Spot recharge of FASTag and quick complaint redressal are some of the SOPs.

FASTag at toll plazas must from January 1

More points of sales

Sources in the NHAI-Hyderabad regional office told The Hindu that more POS would be made available at all the 21 toll plazas in Telangana. “We will have at least 8-10 POS on each side 24x7,” sources said, adding that this time round, there will be strict implementation.

“This time, vehicles without FASTag will not be allowed into any lane. Any vehicle that enters the lane will be made to pay double user fee. We are going to deploy the station marshals to guide non-FASTag vehicles to go to the POS and buy the tags and then enter the designated lanes,” the senior official said.

The SOP clearly states that the ETC infrastructure at the plazas should be fully operational and top class and any normal FASTag vehicle will be able to cross the toll plaza within three seconds without stopping. Hand-held readers are strictly prohibited except in temporary toll plazas.

The authorities have also prohibited back and forth movement of vehicles to adjust FASTag reading. CCTV camera feed would be checked to verify this and strict penal action would be taken against the concessionaire if such activity is noted, the guidelines suggest. In what will be a relief for the vehicle users is that if the ETC is not working, free pass will be given to the valid FASTag holders.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 12:53:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/fastag-at-toll-plazas-must-from-jan-1/article33273609.ece

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