FASTags Will Be Free For Differently-Abled Drivers; No Need To Pay Any Toll Tax, Across India
Big relief to ‘divyangs’ (differently-abled), all vehicles registered under their names will be allowed for a free ride across the NH network.
No Need To Pay Toll
Now they are permitted to ride the national highway without having to pay tolls.
Individuals with disabilities (PwDs) will be required to have a “zero transaction” or free FASTag for their vehicles from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
According to the NH Fee Rules, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry have provided the provision to exempt such vehicles from paying toll charges.
So far, the vehicles modified for use by the physically challenged were exempted from paying toll tax in India as they were defined as “invalid carriage” in the Central Motor Vehicle Act.
Zero Transaction FASTag
Around 2.7 crore people in India were identified physically disabled according to the 2011 Census.
Out of them, a very few of them drive a vehicle currently.
Moving ahead, the NHAI will entertain the requests of only individuals who have a certificate as specified by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, as per the ministry.
Under these rules, vehicles with the zero transaction tag will only be exempted from paying the toll charge on the National Highway.
Currently, “zero transaction FASTag” are available for different exempted categories of vehicles attached to people.
This list includes people like judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, MPs, MLAs in their home state, chief secretaries, secretaries in the central government, and vehicles deployed for essential services.
How Will This Help?
These rules will ensure that no unauthorized person will be able to avail of these exemptions as rampant misuse can result in revenue loss for the NHAI.
It is expected that these exemptions will bring huge relief to a large number of persons with disabilities (PwDs)
Collection Through Fastag Only
Now, NHAI has decided to defer the collection of user fees at toll plazas only through FASTags till February 15, 2021.
They will have to keep up the momentum and improve electronic toll collection for seamless movement of vehicles.
On Thursday, the NHAI decided to begin user fee collection through cashless mode only from February 15, 2021.