The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has announced that all lanes at toll plazas will become FASTag only lanes, with effect from midnight on February 16. The government has for long been postponing the deadline for mandatory fitment of FASTags on all commercial and private vehicles due to inconveniences caused by the pandemic, but have now said there will be no further extensions.
According to a PTI report, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said,
"The government had extended FASTag registration date limit two-three times before; and now, it would not be extended further. Now, everybody should immediately buy FASTag.
MoRTH has said that the purpose of the FASTags are to reduce waiting time and fuel consumption at toll plazas and also to encourage digital modes of payment. It also ensures seamless movement of traffic. Previously, all toll plazas on National Highways had one lane dedicated for cash transactions alongside all other lanes being FASTag only lanes. This latest notification from MoRTH means that no lane will be accepting cash payments at toll plazas with effect from tomorrow.
This means that FASTags will now be mandatory on all vehicles falling in Category ‘M’ and ‘N’. The 'M' category of vehicles include all four-wheelers used for carrying passengers. Meanwhile, the 'N' category includes vehicles with four or more wheels that are used for the transportation of goods, which may also carry people in addition to goods. As per the National Highway FEE Rules 2008, vehicles without a FASTag or with a non-functional FASTag will now require to pay double the fare at National Highway toll booths.
All new cars have mandatorily come fitted with FASTags since December, 2017. If your vehicle is older than that and if you still haven't got a FASTag for your vehicle, you can acquire it from these specified banks or even through a wallet operator such as PayTM. You can apply online as well as physically visit a branch. FASTags are also available through point-of-sales (POS) locations at select toll plazas across the country.