Road Transport and Highways Minister (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari announced that all toll lanes in India will get FASTags over the next four months. The announcement was made at the 2018 SIAM Annual convention in Delhi in presence of automakers and the media. The union minister about the future of the Indian auto industry and also addressed several key questions in his speech. The decision for all toll lanes to be RFID FASTags compliant will be applicable across the 462 toll plazas in the country.
The move will help de-congest traffic at toll plazas saving precious time and fuel for consumers. More recently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) announced that it will be retailing the FASTags via petrol pumps in the country to make them more easily accessible. The highway authority has tied up with Indian Oil, which has the largest number of petrol pumps across the country in order to retail the FASTags.
The current number of FASTag users is said to be between 15-25 per cent in India. With the technology becoming more accessible, more owners will be encouraged to adopt the use of electronic toll collection (ETC).
A FASTags is essentially an RFID based technology that is applied on your vehicle's windshield and enables automatic deduction of toll charges, thereby negating the need to stop and render change to the toll attendant. Every vehicle gets a FASTag that is linked to a prepaid account from where the deduction takes place. The entire process ensures moving traffic at toll plazas.
At present, FASTags can be bought at banks including SBI, ICICI, Axis, Federal and Syndicate, as well as at Common Services Centre (CSC) near toll plazas. The NHAI started the sale of FASTags online in September last year.