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Cashless Toll Plazas from 2021, only FASTag and pre-paid cards will be allowed

Written by Nizam Shaikh

According to a media report, NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) will stop accepting cash on all toll plazas and all cash lanes at the toll plazas will be transformed into FASTag Electronic Toll Collection lanes from 1st January 2021. This move will reduce the congestions at the toll plazas and the cash transaction will be replaced by a pre-paid touch-and-go card. Sources say, that the pre-paid card facility will be made available in all hybrid lanes.

The alternative method will allow users who are using rental motor vehicles or for vehicles that are not yet equipped with a FASTag RFID sticker. The pre-paid card will be available at two points-of-sale made available at the toll plazas and the cardholder will be able to recharge the prepaid cards at the point-of-sale or online. FASTag users whose tag are out of order or who do not have balance amount can use these prepaid cards as well. 

Furthermore, the two-lane for cash transaction which is currently operational will also cease to exist and vehicle with neither FASTag nor the prepaid card will attract double the toll charge, similar to cash users that use the FASTag lane, as a penalty. 

In other news, the Government of Maharashtra along with SaveLIFE Foundation is employing various technologies such as Vehicle Activated Speed-Sign System (VASS) that can automatically detect speeds on oncoming vehicles and flash the speed reading back to the driver for quick speed correction. Additionally, Smart Cameras that have the capability to detect if the driver’s hands are not on the steering wheel and if the driver is distracted by using a mobile phone can also be detected. Currently, this new and advanced technology is being applied to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. 

The ministry of transport has also proposed to make the transfer of motor vehicle hassle-free when the registered owner is deceased. The legal heir can be added as a nominee and the transfer of ownership will become easier if the owner passes away. This move will bring a huge relief to members of the family who are dependant on commercial vehicles for income.

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