MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highway) has announced to extend the deadline for FASTag. Previously, Nitin Gadkari had announced that the deadline date for cashless toll collection would be December 31st 2020 but now the new deadline date is February 15, 2021.
FASTag is based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) that allows deducting money automatically when passing through a toll plaza. This helps in regulating the traffic jam and also saves a lot of time. As of now, all the toll plazas have a dedicated FASTag lane and a cash-only lane, though the government plans to make all the toll booths cashless from February 15, 2021. This FASTag is also being used in parking lots of the airports. First, it was introduced in the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad which resulted in a significant decrease in traffic congestion and streamlined the traffic flow. Soon, the government is planning to make all the parking lots FASTag enabled across all the airports and shopping complexes.
Currently, the total daily FASTag collection stands at INR 80 crore with more than 50 lakh transactions. This accounts for about 75% of the toll collected being cashless and with the deadline coming soon this number is expected to rise further. In 2013, the FASTag was first introduced in India on the Mumbai-Vadodara corridor. The FASTag is a great technology which can single-handedly increase the average speed on the highway as toll booths are the places where vehicles wait for a long period to pay the tolls. FASTags are issued by all major banks like SBI, ICICI, HDFC, Paytm and more. Customers need to issue one from the above-mentioned banks and they would be provided with a FASTag sticker which should be stuck in the front windshield.
With the increasing number of vehicles in India, these tech-driven systems help a lot in automating the process and cater to a larger audience of people with significant precision and speed as proved by FASTag. Recently, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had also declared that the date has been extended for the validity of motor vehicle documents which have expired since 1st February 2020.