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On Tuesday, the transport ministry made it mandatory for vehicle owners to have a valid FASTag for availing discounts at the toll plazas.
Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) amended the National Highways Fee Rules, 2008 as per which the users who make the return journey within 24 hours are eligible for an exemption only if the vehicle has a valid FASTag.
A ministry official said, “In order to promote usage of digital payments for availing all discounts on the Fee Plazas of national highways, the amendments to the Rules are made which would enable- discount on return journey within 24 hours, it would be through FASTag or such other device and automatic. There will be no requirement for a pass”.
“The fee payable towards discounts shall be paid through pre-paid instruments, smart card or through FASTag or on board unit (transponder) or any other such device only. The amendment would also enable that in cases where there is a discount available for a return journey within 24 hours, there is no need for a prior receipt or intimation and the citizen would get the discount automatically if return journey is made within 24 hours with a valid and a functional FASTag on the vehicle,” added the official.
FASTag uses a radio frequency identification (RFID) sticker that allows wireless deduction of toll from the account attached to the sticker, typically of the owner’s. This whole process reduces the time of stoppage of vehicles at the toll plaza in order to reduce air pollution, fuel consumption and any possible congestion.
In order to reduce the chances of creating bottlenecks along the national highways, the centre mandated that all lanes of toll plazas on national highways be declared FASTag lanes by 15th December. The government also allowed the fourth lane of the toll plaza to accept both cash and payments for a period of 30 days which ended on 15th January.
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