To further augment electronic toll collection, the government on Saturday said it has made FASTags mandatory for all four-wheelers including old vehicles from January 1, 2021.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a notification for promotion of digital and IT based payment of fees through FASTags.
The government has issued a notification "making FASTag mandatory to be available by January 1, 2021 in old vehicles also i.e. M and N category of motor vehicles (four wheelers) sold before December 1, 2017 through amendments in CMVR, 1989", the MoRTH said in a statement.
As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the FASTag had been made mandatory for registration of new four wheeled vehicles since December 1, 2017 and is being supplied by the vehicle manufacturers or their dealers.
"It had further been mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate will be done only after the fitment of FASTag for the transport vehicles.
Further that for national permit vehicles the fitment of FASTag has been mandated since October 1, 2019," the statement said.
The government also said that a valid FASTag is mandatory while getting a new third party insurance through an amendment in FORM 51 (certificate of Insurance), wherein the details of FASTag ID shall be captured. This shall be applicable w.e.f. April 1, 2021.
The move is a major step for ensuring that the payment of fees is done at toll plazas through the electronic means only and that the vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll plazas.
"The steps for ensuring the availablity of FASTag at multiple channels are being made through physical locations and also through online mechanism so that the citizens are able to have them affixed at their vehicles within the next two months at their convenience," the statement said.
The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme, the flagship initiative of the MoRTH, has been implemented on a pan-India basis in order to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of user fee as per the notified rates, using passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
FASTag is a prepaid tag that enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets the vehicle pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.
The radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based FASTag is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle.
It allows for direct payment of fee from the prepaid or savings account linked to it and enables vehicles to drive through without stopping for transactions.