FASTag? NHAI has started selling FASTags -- the RFID stickers that can be used to make electronic payment for toll charges -- free of cost till December 1.
In fact, even the security deposit of Rs 150 will be borne by NHAI. This was announced by SS Sandhu, Chairman, NHAI.
"Between Thursday (November 21) and December 1, you can get the FASTags for free," said Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in a conference.
"We cannot say what will happen after December 2," said Gadkari indicating that the free offer to get tags is there only till December 1.
While the tag cost is free, people have to use their own money to top up their account. At present, almost 40 per cent of toll income of NHAI accrues electronically. NHAI hopes that the entire toll income will be collected through FASTags by December this year.
This will involve a cost of some Rs 150-200 crore for NHAI, according to the Minister.
From 1.4 lakh km of National Highways, toll charges were being collected from almost 25,000 km, as on March-end 2019. Between April-September this year, 2000 km of new National Highways are being brought under toll. Some 535-536 toll plazas have electronic toll collection systems. Barring newly installed 16-17 toll plazas, almost all the lanes have electronic toll collection systems.
NHAI's toll plazas, which collected over Rs 14,000 crore in 2014-15 as toll charges, has collected some Rs 24,400 crore as toll charges in fiscal 2018-19.
FASTags are being sold at over 28,000 places. Between November 8-14, over 5653 complaints were filed, of which over 5300 complaints were sorted out. NHAI has also sought help from State government officials to collect toll charges electronically to deal with inconvenienced road users. From December 1, all lanes barring one will collect FASTags.
The minister also indicated they are framing rules where in people walking on the streets can click pictures of cars parked on roads.
"While vehicles parked on roads will be penalised, those who click photos of such cars will also be given incentives," the Minister said.