Have you installed FASTag on vehicles? If not, be prepared to cough up twice the toll fee from February 16. Mandatory electronic toll collection at toll plazas under the FASTag system, which was postponed in January, will be enforced strictly. National Highway Authority of Indian project director P Shiva Shankar on Sunday said 85 to 90 percent of four-wheelers and heavy vehicles in Andhra Pradesh have FASTags, owing to sustained campaigns and special drives.
Based on Radio Frequency identification technology, FASTags is a device that makes toll payments directly from the prepaid account linked to it. Motorists have to affix the device on the windscreen of vehicles for seamless travel at toll plazas. Coming with a validity of five years, FASTags save time for motorists as there is no need to carry cash for transactions at toll plazas. These cards can be recharged online through credit card, debit card / NEFT / RTGS, or Net Banking.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, P Shiva Shankar said “there may be problems for the remaining 10 to 15 percent that does not have the tags. Till now toll collection from non-FASTag vehicles at the toll plazas were being allowed only on two lanes.” There are 24 toll plazas in the state, seven of which are between Anakapalle in Vizag and Itchapuram in Srikakulam, he said. Nodal officers have been appointed to all the plazas and four marshals will man each lane to enforce the toll collection under the new system”.
Field Staff have been deputed to identify the non-FASTag vehicles and make them take the tags. Vehicles without FASTag will be levied double the charge at the toll plaza. He added dry runs were conducted for two hours in the morning and evening at every tollbooth for the last six weeks, and 1,000 tags were issued to the vehicles in a period of 24 hours at Natavaram last month.
If the vehicles with the tags have no balance left on their FASTag accounts, the toll amount will be debited once the tags are recharged. However, this facility can be used once, and the owners must recharge the tags, which can be done online or t the toll plazas, soon. The users can also download FASTag Suvidha App on their phones, Siva Shankar added. Vehicles that were exempted for tall payment must take ‘exempted tags’. Barring Navy and Defense vehicles are yet to take the FASTags,” officials said.