The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Saturday extended the deadline to enforce the new rule mandatory FASTags for another month due to a shortage of tags availability in the market. Despite setting December 15 as the deadline, more than 50 per cent of the vehicle owners have not fitted their vehicles with FASTag, this led the extension of the window period for mandatory FASTags
The government earlier had announced the rollout of mandatory FASTag under electronic toll collection from December 1, which was later extended to December 15, 2019. Now it has further extended for another month owing to a shortage of radio frequency identification (RFID) based FASTag and deficit of supply of the tag.
To avert inconvenience to citizens, NHAI will convert up to 25 per cent of FASTag lanes at national highway toll plazas to hybrid lanes for a month. The hybrid lane will accept FASTag and other modes of payment.
The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme, the flagship initiative of the ministry, 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.
To give a fillip to digital payments and bring in enhanced transparency, the ministry had directed to declare all lanes of fee plazas on National Highways as 'FASTag lanes' by December 1. However, one lane in each direction was decided to be kept as 'hybrid lane' which will accept FASTag and other modes of payment.
A customer may call on the helpline number '1033' for any assistance related to FASTags, the ministry had said and added that they can also reach out to banks to obtain FASTags.
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