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No FASTag? Get ready to pay twice the fee from Monday

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New Delhi, Feb 14: FASTags will be mandatory for vehicles from February 15, 2021. Any vehicle not fitted with it will be charged double the toll at electronic toll plazas across the country.

Making the tags compulsory would also help in ensuring that vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll plazas as fee payment would be done electronically.

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"Government declares FASTag mandatory w.e.f midnight of 15th/16th February 2021 Any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or without valid, functional FASTag entering into FASTag lane, shall pay a fee equivalent to two times of fee applicable to that category," the government's Press Information Bureau said in a statement today.

The ministry has clarified that this has been done to further promote fee payment through digital mode, reduce waiting time and fuel consumption, and provide for a seamless passage through the fee plazas. The Ministry had mandated fitment of FASTag in M&N categories of motor vehicles with effect from 1st January 2021.

Category 'M' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying passengers.And Category 'N' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying goods, which may also carry persons in addition to goods.

FASTag uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which provides users a smooth crossover at toll plazas without halting. The payment is made digitally through the FASTag linked to the bank wallet.

FASTag was launched in 2016 and four banks together issued nearly a lakh of them. By 2017, their numbers went up to seven lakh and more than 34 lakh FASTags were issued in 2018.

You can buy FASTags from branches or online services of banks including SBI, HDFC, ICICI, Bank of Baroda, Axis, City Union Bank. The FASTag will also be issued at the NHAI's points of sale at all toll plazas, PayTM, e-commerce websites such as Amazon, and also the Road Transport Authority (RTA) offices.

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