E-Toll Goes Live Across 275 Toll Plazas Across India From Monday; RFID Will Save Rs 60,000 Crore
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has announced that the much anticipated e-toll facility would be made live effective April 25th, across India. 275 toll plazas have been equipped with Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which will directly debit the toll charges from the passing vehicles.
Thus, the long awaited dream of non-stop drive across Indian highways is now a reality.
Termed as FASTag, this new e-toll facility will save approximately Rs 60,000 crore per year, as this much amount is currently wasted owing to long waiting queues at different toll plazas. India has 350 toll plazas as of now; and within a year, FASTag enabled e-toll would be rolled out across the remaining toll plazas as well.
Where To Buy FASTag?
NHAI has only designated ICICI Bank and Axis Bank to sell FASTags for consumers, besides purchasing them directly from the toll plaza. A one time charge of Rs 200 is applicable while purchasing FASTag; and minimum recharge is Rs 100, whereas maximum recharge can be Rs 1 lakh, in multiples of 100.
Interestingly, the recharge can only be done online using ICICI and Axis Bank’s gateways, as NHAI has not partnered with mobile wallets for the same. This is indeed one of the mysterious decisions, as mobile wallets could have made the process easier.
Here is the complete list of those toll plazas, where e-toll would be activated effective April 25th.
Instructions for Using FASTags
Every toll plaza will have several dedicated ‘FASTag Lanes’, which would be visible from atleast 70 meters to the driver.
NHAI has said that drivers should slow down and enter the designated FASTag lane at a speed of 25-30 km/hr. As soon as the sensor reads the RFID tag, it will turn green, and the boom barrier would be lifted to allow the passage.
In case the light is red, then it means that either that FASTag is blacklisted or it has insufficient amount. In that case, driver needs to pay by cash. Users would also receive instant SMS alerts for toll deductions and low balance.
Besides, NHAI has updated instructions for installing the FASTag on the windshield, and instructions for the toll operators on their website.
To promote usage of FASTags, Govt. is also giving 10% cashback on all recharges done within the financial year 2016-17. The cashback (inspired by ecommerce?) shall reflect in the account at the end of the month.
Will you use cash or FASTag at toll plazas? Do share your comments right here!