Prelims Syllabus : Governance- Schemes, Policies Mains Syllabus : GS-III- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Why in News?
- Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the “One Nation One FASTag” scheme.
- The plan aims to integrate the collection of toll digitally and ensure seamless mobility of vehicles across India.
- The scheme will be implemented from December 1, 2019, and can be availed upon activation by new cars having Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on national and state highways throughout the country.
What is ‘FASTagʼ?
- 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.
‘One Nation One FASTagʼ Scheme:
- Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed between state departments and other agencies for bringing in a unified electronic tolling solution across the country.
- Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana signed MoUs with the Indian Highways Management Company Limited, an arm of NHAI, to accept FASTags on their state highway tolls.
- The existing FASTags under various jurisdictions of states and agencies would be enabled under this scheme, thus integrating the collection of toll digitally so that seamless services can be provided to consumers all over India.
- The move is significant given that the Centre has decided that from December 1, all national highway toll plazas will accept tolls only through FASTags.
- At present, 60 lakh vehicles in India have FASTags. 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.