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The Indian Road Transport and Highways Ministry is in full action mode to make the roads and driving safer in India. In a recent series of events, the ministry has gone all out and has expressed intentions of bringing about a major overhaul in the way the country drives and follows the traffic laws, from nitrogen in vehicle tyres to electric vehicle proposals. It is in this chain that the transport minister Nitin Gadkari announced that in the coming 4 months, the government will make FASTag mandatory for all vehicles in India. The minister went ahead and stated the importance of citizens paying tolls for the availability of better roads in the country.
FASTag is an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag via which the toll paying procedure gets extremely streamlined and hassle free. This also prevents the users from lining up for payment of tolls and in turn makes paying tolls not only an easy process but speeds up things for drivers. An RFID tag is fixed at a suitable location on the windscreen of vehicles and the receiver at the toll booth scans the vehicle for the RFID tag and automatically deducts the toll payment based on the RFID tag. The payment for the toll is done via an account linked with the RFID tag of the vehicle owner. This account can either be a prepaid one or a normal savings account of a bank.
The government is working on improving the road infrastructure of the country in a steadfast manner and claims to have built 40,000 kilometers of highway in the past five years. This in turn means more and more people are now using these toll operated roads. Therefore, in order to make the toll payment procedure a smoother and wait-free experience, FASTags are an important cornerstone. In a bid to make FASTags easily and readily available, the government is also working on making these tags available at fuel bunks across the nation wherein the customer can prepay for their FASTag just like any other service like parking or refueling.
With the government displaying the intent to make FASTags mandatory across the nation, one can expect the number of FASTags only lanes to swell up at toll booths in the interim. Currently, most toll booths have at least one FASTag only lane where the only vehicles with the tags can pay their toll. As of now, you can purchase a FASTag from branches of several banks and toll booths, or online.