No network but still Fastag is mandatory!?

Nagpur: As per directives of the Ministry of Highways and Roads, FASTag is going to be mandatory at toll plazas across the country from December 15. This means all four-wheelers have to attach FASTag RFID stickers on their vehicle’s windscreens. Failing to do so will result in vehicle owners without the FASTag to pay double the toll fare as a form of penalty. A separate lane will be present at the toll plazas for non-FASTag vehicles. A FASTag comes with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that is linked to the customer’s saving account.

However, on one hand the hassled vehicle owners struggling to put Fastag stickers on their vehicles and on the other hand, the administration has been found not geared to implement the system. An ‘on-the-spot’ survey at each and every toll plaza found that the plaza on Chhindwara Road was ill-equipped for Fastag implementation. At Saoner toll plaza, pamphlets were being issued for creating awareness about the hi-tech system. The plaza employees were found stressing the necessity of sticking Fastag. FASTag is basically a device which is affixed on a vehicles’s windscreen. A FASTag comes with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that is linked to the customer’s saving account. So, when one crosses a toll, a tag reader will scan the FASTag and deduct the toll charges electronically with no manual intervention. Users will also receive service SMSes for transaction, low balance and other details.

Long queues of vehicles:

Even though the Saoner Toll Plaza was equipped with the Fastag system, long queues of vehicles were seen. There was no separate lane for vehicles equipped with Fastag. The outcome was that the vehicles with Fastag had to wait for longer time as toll was being recovered first from non-Fastag vehicles.

No network in Kelvad:

At this plaza, most of the vehicles were found with Fastag but still the plaza employees were recovering the toll. When confronted, the employees revealed that there was no network at the toll plaza. Without the network, toll is not recovered from Fastag vehicles, they lamented.

The FASTag system comes with several benefits for its customers such as ease of payment, near non-stop movement of vehicles at toll plazas, and online recharge. FASTag is based on radio-frequency identification (RFID). The tag is affixed on the windscreen of a vehicle and when that vehicle passes through any toll plaza, the toll gets deducted automatically. The validity of a FASTag is five years. It is linked with a prepaid or savings account. After purchasing a FASTag, one need to recharge or top-up based on your requirement.