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Government introduces FASTag to make toll collection easy

FASTag

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways’ Electronic Toll Collection system called FASTag, which was launched last month, is now operational across 24 toll plazas on the Delhi-Mumbai highway. Earlier, the Ministry had launched a pilot project for the ETC system at 10 toll plazas between Mumbai (Charoti) and Ahmedabad.

The Ministry claimed that the ETC system has been installed at 55 toll plazas so far and that their integration with Central Clearing House (CCH) operators will be completed shortly. The Ministry also claimed that other payment technologies such as touch-cards would be introduced in the system, in the near future.

How FASTag works
FASTag, which is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device, will be attached to the windscreen of cars which and when recharged with money, will allow one to drive seamlessly through FASTag lanes at toll plazas without having to stop and pay the toll tax at the window. Normal and applicable toll fees will automatically be deducted from the Tag Account and the information for the same will be relayed through SMS alerts on registered phone number. The FASTag will also be extended for fuel payments and fee payments at State Border check-posts soon.

Where can one buy this?
FASTag is currently being offered only by ICICI Bank but points-of-sale of the FASTag device will soon be set up at Axis Banks and several other banks as well. The device will also be made available at Toll Plazas shortly.

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Where can one get more information about this?
A web-based portal has been developed to provide information about

  • Applicable toll charges
  • State-wise list of all toll plazas with their name, location and highway number
  • Concessions for local vehicles
  • Date of toll notification
  • Commercial operation date
  • Date of toll fee revision
  • Nearest police station and hospitals
  • Contacts of personnel on toll plaza

Additionally, users can also input a search inquiry for a specific toll plaza in a specific State/city to get more details. Using predefined text messages sent to 56070, users could access toll rates.

Future implications and scope of ETC
The government said that the ETC system can be used to automate the process of traffic surveys, which in turn can help regulate collection of data (and toll tax) to create a central data repository. This traffic information collected over seven days and twice a year at more than 1,600 locations will help the government plan better infrastructure and traffic management.

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