FASTags will be mandatory for vehicles from January 1, 2021, EU Minister Nitin Gakdari said on Thursday.
FASTags, which facilitate the electronic payment of tolls at toll stations, were introduced in 2016. The mandatory marking of the tags would also help vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll booths as toll payment would be electronic.
The Union’s Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari, has announced that FASTag will be mandatory for all vehicles in the country from the new year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
Speaking at a virtual event on Thursday, he also said that FASTag will be useful for commuters as they will not have to stop at toll booths for cash payments. Plus, it will also help save time and fuel, he added.
FASTag was launched in 2016 and four banks together have spent almost a lakh of them. By 2017, their number rose to seven lakh and in 2018 more than 34 lakh FASTags were issued.
In November of this year, the ministry issued a notice stating that FASTag will also be mandatory from January 1, 2021 for old vehicles that were sold before December 1, 2017.
According to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules of 1989, the FASTag was mandatory for the registration of new all-wheel drive vehicles from December 1, 2017.
It was also stipulated that the renewal of the suitability certificate of a transport vehicle only takes place when the vehicle in question has a FASTag.
FASTag has been mandatory for vehicles with national approval since October 1, 2019.
A valid FAST day would be mandatory for taking out new liability insurance. This would come into effect on April 1, 2021.
The ministry said steps are being taken to ensure the availability of FASTag across multiple channels. They would be available in physical locations as well as online. The NETC (National Toll Collection) program has been implemented across India to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless traffic and the collection of usage fees according to the tariffs stated using passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology.