No cash payments on highways, FASTag to get mandatory from Feb 15.

The Union ministry of road transport and highways has made electronic toll system FASTag mandatory for all vehicles from Monday, February 15, 2021. The fitment of FASTag was earlier mandated by the ministry to come into effect from January 1, 2021. “At hybrid lanes of fee plazas on National Highways, fee payment can be made through FASTag as well as in cash mode till 15th February, 2021,” the ministry had said.

FASTags can be issued by banks like the HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Paytm Payments Bank and IDFC First Bank. The ministry has said that is committed to making highways completely powered with FASTag toll collection system and has said in an order that from midnight of February 15/16, all lanes in the fee plazas on the highways will be declared as FASTag lane and it will become to mandatory to pay using the digital tech only.

The FASTag technology helps in seamless collection of toll without the need to stop the vehicle at the toll plaza. The sticker of FASTag is stuck at the windshield of the car and deploys Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to collect tolls. The RFID technology is indigenously developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The code in the FASTag sticker is detected using the RFID technology at the toll plaza that helps the payment of toll by the vehicle.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has built around 40,00 Point of Sales (PoS) for on spot buying of FASTags. NHAI on February 10 had also issued a new statement clarifying that no minimum balance is required in FASTag wallet. A FASTag is valid for five years from the date of issuance. It can be recharged through PayTm, PhonePe, UPI or through Debit cards and Credit Cards.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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