FASTags will work as Aadhaar to track vehicles, says Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari  

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday called FASTags — a device to make automatic payments at toll booths — the equivalent of Aadhaar for vehicles, which will allow the government to track their movement across the country.

The government has already announced that FASTags will be mandatory for all vehicles at all National Highways from December 1.

On Monday, speaking at the One Nation-One FASTag conference, the Minister appealed to all States to adopt the technology so that the entire system can come under the National Toll Collection programme of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Users of State Highways, too, can avoid long queues and benefit from seamless travel, he added.

“Cameras at toll booths will take photos of passengers in a vehicle, which will be useful for the Ministry of Home Affairs as there will be a record of a vehicle’s movement,” Mr. Gadkari said, adding that it was an equivalent of Aadhaar.

A FASTag uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to make cashless payments through a prepaid account linked to it. The tag is fixed to the windscreen of a vehicle and an RFID antenna in the canopy of the toll gate scans the QR code and the tag identification number, following which the boom barrier lifts to allow a vehicle to pass through it without the need for a vehicle to stop.

The Minister mentioned that cameras will capture the images of vehicles, but officials involved with the initiative explained that it is the FASTag that will help track vehicles.

“A FASTag is linked to a bank account. When a vehicle passes through a toll, an SMS with date, time and place of transaction will be sent to the owner of the vehicle. The master data of all transactions will be with the concessionaire of the toll booth concerned, along with the bank with which the owner has registered the FASTag and the National Payments Corporation of India,” officials said. 

The Minister was quoted in a press statement saying that FASTags are “likely to reduce the nation’s GDP loss by bringing down loss of fuel while waiting at toll plazas.” FASTags are acceptable across 490 National Highways out of the total 527. These can also be used at nearly 39 State Highways. So far there are six million users in the country.

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2021 5:04:15 PM |

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