BENGALURU: The need to mandatorily pay toll at toll gates only through the electronic mode of FASTag has now been postponed to December 15, said highly placed sources in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). A directive to this effect was issued late on Friday evening by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. According to the letter issued by Aishwarya Gupta, Assistant Executive Engineer of the toll section of the ministry, the move has been taken in public interest.
“To provide sufficient time to citizens to obtain FASTag, it has now been decided that all the lanes in Fee Plazas shall be declared as ‘FASTag lane of Fee Plaza’ by December 15, 2019,” it said. This supersedes the order issued by the ministry on July 19, making FASTag mandatory across the country from December 1, it said.
The order also said that to monitor oversized vehicles, one lane in the Fee Plaza may be kept as a hybrid lane that will accept FASTag and other modes of payment. “It would be converted into the dedicated FASTag lane in a time bound manner,” the directive added. The government had mandated that those not opting for FASTag will have to pay double the toll if they pass through the electronic payment lanes from December 1.
“Barring one lane, all will be converted such that they accept only FASTag payment and if vehicles without this option pass through, they need to pay double the toll,” an official told The New Indian Express earlier. However, if vehicles opt to wait in the single lane in which all forms of payment are accepted, then they can pay normal charges but may have to wait for hours as many vehicles are yet to opt for this mode of payment, he added.
A Karnataka NHAI official said that though more people are coming forward to go for FASTag and only around 40% of toll gate vehicle users have purchased these tags, which work on Radio Frequency Identification Technology.