The government today postponed the deadline of mandatory FASTags from December 1 to December 15. The transport ministry's move of collecting electronic toll across National Highways came last week when Nitin Gadkari announced that twice the toll amount will be charged for passing through FASTag lanes without tags at toll plazas.
"To facilitate sufficient lead time to citizens to obtain FASTag, it has now been decided that all the lanes in the Fee plazas shall be declared as ''FASTag lane of Fee Plaza'' by December 15, 2019," a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways communication said.
The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme is a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. However, there will be one hybrid lane, where usual toll will be charged from non-FASTag vehicles.
"Double the toll amount will be charged from December 1 for travelling through FASTag lanes without tags on 537 toll plazas on national highways across India," Nitin Gadkari, the Road Transport and Highways Minister had said.
He said 537 toll plazas have become 100 per cent electronic toll collection compliant including 17 where FASTags will be read through hand-held devices.
FASTag is a prepaid tag, affixed on vehicle's windscreen, that enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets the vehicle pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.
Mr Gadkari said that to promote FASTags, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will distribute it free of cost bearing Rs 150 security charges for buyers till December 1. However, it is up to the buyer to charge it with desired amount, he said and added that after December 1, the FASTags will become chargeable.
Over 70 lakh FASTags had been issued till Wednesday, with the highest per-day issuance of 1,35,583 tags on November 26, 2019, whereas 1.03 lakh tags were issued on the day before.
The programme is being implemented pan-India to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic.
(With inputs from PTI)