The transport ministry has made it mandatory for vehicle owners to have a FASTag to avail any exemption on all types of toll fee, including discount for users who make a return journey within 24 hours. A notification amending the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 notified as per GSR 523 (E) was issued on Monday to this effect.
“In order to further promote digital payments on the Fee Plazas on the National Highways, it is decided that discount for users who make a return journey within 24 hours and all other local exemptions shall be provided only if the vehicle carries a valid functional FASTag,” an official said.
The fee payable towards discounts will be paid through pre-paid instruments, smart card or through FASTag or on board unit (transponder) or any other such device only, the official said.
The amendment would also enable that in cases where there is a discount available for a return journey within 24 hours, there is no need for a prior receipt or intimation and the citizen would get the discount automatically if return journey is made within 24 hours with a valid and a functional FASTag on the vehicle.
Introduced in 2014, the RFID-based FASTags affixed on vehicle windscreens would enable toll to be debited from a linked account, without requiring vehicles to stop for transactions.
FASTags, however, did not pick up until a transport ministry directive in July last year called for equipping all toll lanes barring one across National highways in the country with electronic toll collection (ETC) infrastructure.
News Source: Economic Times