FASTag: If Scanner Fails to Read RFID, then Vehicle User is Exempted from Toll Fee, says 2018 GR Notification
Moneylife Digital Team 19 February 2021
While the union government has made FASTag mandatory from Monday mid-night, there is no respite to road travellers from long queues at toll booths. Add to this the poor infrastructure available at these toll plazas, which makes it difficult to get the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag scanned properly. However, if there is sufficient balance in the valid FASTag account, then the vehicle user is exempted from paying any fee, says a notification published in the gazette in May 2018. 
 
Pune-based activist Sanjay Shirodkar, who shared the GR, says, for the technical issues at the toll plaza, vehicle user should not be punished. He says, “If RFID is not getting scanned and there is sufficient balance in the FASTag account at any toll plaza, then it is failure of the toll contractor to collect toll. Basically, this is infrastructure failure at the toll plaza. In this case, the affected vehicle user should be not be charged any money as per the GR notification.” 
 
The notification published on 7 May 2018, in the gazette says, "...if a vehicle user with a valid, functional FASTag or any such device with sufficient balance in the linked account crossing a fee plaza installed with electronic toll collection infrastructure, is not able to pay user fee through FASTag or any such device owing to malfunctioning of electronic toll collection infrastructure, the vehicle user shall be permitted to pass the fee plaza without payment of any user fee. An appropriate zero transaction receipt shall be issued mandatorily for all such transactions.”
 
 
The electronic toll collection infrastructure mentioned in the notification is a set of equipment comprising hardware and software that facilitates electronic collection of user fees.  (Check the GR at the end of this story)   
 
According to social media posts and reports, instead of easing traffic flow, with the mandatory FASTag, there are jams on almost all major toll plazas. Many vehicle users face a common technical issue when the RFID scanners at the toll plaza fail to read the FASTag. In some cases, money also gets deducted from the user's account. However, unless the user pays the money the boom barrier remains closed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Commuters at several toll plazas on national highways are facing a long wait – stretching up to nearly half-an-hour at some toll plazas - due to glitches in the system after the government mandated all toll lanes as FASTag lanes. 
 
Quoting sources, a report from the Times of India says, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), is likely to direct toll plaza operators to allow vehicles without paying toll if there were long queues and the threshold that will trigger a free passage of vehicles through toll gates is being worked out.
 
 
Last week, the ministry of road transport & highways has decided that all lanes in the fee plazas on national highways shall be declared as "FASTag lane of the fee plaza" with effect from midnight of 15th and 16 February 2021, and vehicles without a valid FASTag would be charged double the toll.
 
"As per NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicle without valid, functional FASTag entering into the FASTag lane of the fee plaza shall pay a fee equivalent to two times of the fee applicable to that category," an official statement said.
 
In a tweet, the ministry says, since 16th February, toll collection through FASTag have been increasing. In comparison to the last week, toll collection has shown a jump of  9%, 16% and 14%  on 16th, 17th and 18 February 2021, respectively, it says.
 
  
 
 
 
Since 1 December 2017, FASTag has been made mandatory for all registrations of new four wheeled vehicles and is being supplied by the manufacturers or dealers. It has been further mandated that a valid FASTag is mandatory while getting a new third-party insurance. This provision shall be applicable from 1 April 2021.
 
Here is the notification issued in the GR by the ministry on 7 May 2018…
 
Comments
sha79
7 months ago
This Fastag "scheme" is a bureaucratic nightmare forced upon people. Were there any study/test to see if the system was ready?
Devassyjames196
7 months ago
Stop the ROAD TOLLS•• Theories••
arun.kumar.saha
7 months ago
Bhakts will still enjoy their time in their vehicles!
MA Dhavan
7 months ago
Isn't it time to stop giving out toll plazas to private contractors and letting private citizens run the show.

With the FASTAG billing is now in place and everything is centralized and digitized.

Why not bring even the last mile collection points directly under the governments own revenue department. Whether central or state. There is sufficient money being collected at these toll booths to pay for full time toll collection officers that could be more responsible.
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