One Nation One FASTag: Govt’s RFID solution for digital payment of highway toll

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    22nd Oct, 2019

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the “One Nation One FASTag” scheme at the Indian Mobile Congress in New Delhi. The plan aims to integrate the collection of toll digitally and ensure seamless mobility of vehicles across India.

Context

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the “One Nation One FASTag” scheme at the Indian Mobile Congress in New Delhi. The plan aims to integrate the collection of toll digitally and ensure seamless mobility of vehicles across India.

About

  • FASTags are stickers that are affixed to the windscreen of vehicles and use RFID technology to enable digital, contactless payment of tolls without having to stop at toll gates.
  • The tags are linked to bank accounts and other payment methods.
  • As a car crosses a toll plaza, the amount is automatically deducted, and a notification is sent to the registered mobile phone number.
  • Sensors are placed on toll barriers, and the barriers open for vehicles having valid FASTags.
  • A FASTag is valid for five years and needs to be recharged only as per requirement.
  • According to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), these devices will make passing through tolls considerably smoother since drivers will no longer have to carry cash or stop to make a transaction.

Advantages of Using FASTag in the Indian Transportation Industry

  • FASTag enables one to drive through toll squares nonstop.
  • There would be no need to stop for cash transaction.
  • By employing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, it makes toll fares payment possible directly from the prepaid accounts linked to it.
  • Long queues of vehicles waiting and honking while cumbersome cash exchanges occurring at the counter can be avoided.
  • It also helps in reducing fuel wastage and emanating pollution due to long waiting times at the toll plazas.
  • A successful implementation of Electronic Toll Collection system on all the major national highways would help save approximately 87,000 crore INR annually.
  • Various options like debit card, credit card, NEFT/ RTGS, and even net banking are available for recharging FASTag online.

What are the challenges faced by FasTag?

  • FasTag charge is high for multi-axle vehicles – Multi-axle vehicle owners are hesitant to opt for FasTag as the toll charges for such vehicles are quite high. A truck requires more than Rs. 2,000 for 10 trips while a car can make 10 trips at a much lower value. This gives people the ideas for deploying car tags in trucks.
  • FasTag may not be approved – When there is no amount in the account, no credit is given to the users. Then the user has to pay in cash. Moreover, at times, the RFID scanner goes through technical issues, leaving a FasTag user in a fix to pay the toll amount in cash.
  • FasTag can be stolen or lost – Since the FasTag comes in a tag form, it can easily be stolen or lost. In such a situation, one should never forget to request the agency to block the FasTag account instantly and process re-issuance.
  • FasTag can be wrongly charged – Due to technical flaws, at times, a FasTag user may be wrongly charged. And, the user is only left with the option to report the matter as soon as he/she comes to know about it and asking for reimbursement.
  • FasTag may face malfunction or damage – A user can report about the same and ask for a replacement.
  • FasTag faces the issue of discipline at all most every toll plaza – Vehicles without the FasTags enter the designated lane while the ones with FasTags wait for their turn, behind these vehicles.
  • Same lane for electronic toll collection (ETC) and very important person (VIP) – There should be a dedicated ETC lane at every toll plaza. Not having a dedicated ETC lane means the purpose of FasTag fails as it causes a delay in the journey of FasTag users.

© 2020 Basix Education Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved