As some might remember, 2 years ago, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had issued a notification stating that all four-wheelers sold in India from 1st of December, 2017, would have to be fitted with FASTags. However, due to some reasons, this system was not put in place. But now, in a bid to reduce traffic congestion at toll plazas on all national highways, the Government of India is making FASTags, a cashless transaction system, mandatory for all vehicles across the country.
Once made mandatory, the FASTag system will promote faster movement of vehicles and reduce congestion through tolls by digitising the payments and identifying the vehicles through these unique tags across the country. FASTag is a digitized monetary system based on Global Individual Asset Identification (GIAI) coding scheme by GS1 India, which is a Standard body (registered under Societies Registration Act 1860) with founder members comprising the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Government of India.
A FASTag device employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the linked prepaid account. The tag is stuck on the windscreen of your vehicle and enables you to drive through toll plazas with near non-stop movement. FASTag has a validity of 5 years and after purchasing it, it only needs to be recharged, as per your requirement. The FASTag System is currently operational at more than 240 toll plazas across National Highways and more toll plazas will be brought under the FASTag program in the near future.
“FASTags would enable all vehicles to pay toll fee digitally while providing the convenience of faster movement across toll plazas. This, in turn, would help in significantly eliminate long queues at toll plazas with consequent saving in fuel and time. FASTags would also enable toll payments across State and district highways and even for parking in cities in the near future. This would help commuters in seamless movement across city parking to State to national highways. Through use of GS1 unique identification numbers for vehicles, which are encoded in FasTags, each vehicle can get identified in a standardised and common manner by different government departments including Police, Traffic management authorities, Insurance, toll collection authorities, and municipal bodies, while in transit”, said Mr. Ravi Mathur, CEO of GS1 India.