The use of FASTag has become mandatory from midnight today, as notified by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The statement has said that those vehicle users who fail to install FASTag on their vehicles would be charged double the toll amount on national highways. In this regards, let us understand what is FASTag and how it is beneficial.
What is FASTag?
FASTag is a sticker that is attached to the windshield of the car from the inside. The FASTag also has an imprinted radio-frequency Identification (RFID) barcode that is linked to all the registration details of the vehicle. The sticker is scanned at the Toll plaza and the amount gets automatically deducted. This allows for quick movement at the toll plazas and efficiency in toll collection as it eliminates the need for human interaction thus removing the chances of corruption or favouritism.
What are the Benefits of FASTag?
According to Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, the FASTag is useful for the commuters as they would no longer be required to stop at toll plazas for cash payments. The switch to automatic toll payments system would eventually save time and fuel. This in turn has an economic advantage – as the fuel efficiency increases, it not only eases the transportation of goods but also makes it cheaper. In addition to this, it also prevents the vehicle from depreciating as the engine health is maintained by not having to start/stop repeatedly. As time is saved, the drivers do not have to resort to fast driving which is also good for the health of the engine and fuel efficiency.
The use of FASTag helps in saving fuel and time. Saving fuel directly leads to a reduction in carbon emissions. This is a great achievement considering the fact that the transportation industry is one of the largest emitters of carbon to the atmosphere. Thus, FASTag is a way of community/mass contribution towards environment conservation.
In addition to this, it eases the transportation of goods. This makes it easier to transport perishable goods across cities for the farmers. Through this, their incomes are also enhanced and the items are not wasted. Reduction in such food waste is also a major contribution to the reduction in carbon emissions.
FASTag prevents happenstances of traffic jams at the Toll plazas. It therefore saves time and therefore, the drivers who are carrying packages for guaranteed over-night delivery are not pressured into driving fast to meet the deadline. They can therefore drive safe and afford breaks in between, which can help in avoiding road accidents.
FASTag is not new to India. Similar systems have been adopted for years in different developed countries. As India embraces digitalisation and moves towards less-cash economy, FASTag is a step in the right direction that has a win-win for all.