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Happy users zoom through toll plazas with FASTags
Implementation of FASTags for collection of toll fee at toll plazas on the national and state highways is giving fruitful results as thousands of vehicles crossed the toll gate located near Mangalagiri on Chennai-Kolkata national highways comfortably on Sunday.
Vijayawada/Nalgonda: Implementation of FASTags for collection of toll fee at toll plazas on the national and state highways is giving fruitful results as thousands of vehicles crossed the toll gate located near Mangalagiri on Chennai-Kolkata national highways comfortably on Sunday. Vehicle users paid the fee with the help of FASTags and crossed the toll gate in less than a minute.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Road Transport on Sunday extended the last day for all highway lanes in Telangana to be converted to FASTag lanes to January 15, but all 17 toll plazas in Telangana completed the switch to FASTag toll collection from Saturday midnight. Currently, one lane in each toll plaza will be accepting cash payments and all other lanes would be FASTag lanes.
Earlier, the ministry had set December 15 as the last date for the compulsory implementation of FASTags on National Highway Toll Plazas across the country. The government has relaxed the rule to facilitate people, saying that at least 75 per cent lanes at toll plazas must use the electronic toll collection FASTag.
The NHAI has made arrangements at more than 400 toll gates across India for the digital payments of the toll by vehicle users through the FASTag stickers using Radio-Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) devices. While vehicle owners can register for FASTags online through 23 nationalised and private banks, they are also being fixed at each line about 60 feet from the toll gate.
The RFID devices collect the fee from the bank accounts of vehicle users through FASTags, which are affixed to the windscreens of vehicles. Once the digital toll fee payment is made, gates are automatically lifted and vehicles pass without any delay.
If the RFID device fails to collect the toll fee through FASTag, the NHAI staff collects the toll fee with the help of hand-held devices, which are known as Guns. At certain places, particularly Nalgonda district, some technical glitches were reported. Wherever the technical glitches were found, the staff collected the fee scanning the FASTag on the windscreen of the vehicle with the RFID-enabled Guns.
The staff keeps the guns close to the card affixed on the windscreen and toll fee is automatically deducted. It enables the vehicle to cross the toll gate in less than a minute.
In Chittoor district, about 30-40 per cent of vehicles were found to be having tags indicating the necessity to bring more awareness on the new initiative. The digital payment process is very fast, and the vehicle driver need not wait more than one minute to pay the toll fee.
FASTag is a sticker containing an embedded chip and antenna. It is affixed on a vehicle's windscreen to enable automatic collection of toll charges without stopping even one minute at the toll plaza. The NHAI staff near the Managalagiri Toll Plaza noticed that more than 50 per cent vehicles that passed through the gate had affixed FASTags to the windscreens.