The government on Sunday said it has made FASTags mandatory from February 15 midnight and any vehicle not fitted with it will be charged double the toll at electronic toll plazas across the country.

Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry announced all lanes in the fee plazas on the National Highways shall be declared as ‘FASTag lane of the fee plaza’ with effect from the midnight of 15-16 February, informed an official statement.

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The statement said, “Any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicles 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.”

“Therefore, 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,” the statement added.

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Earlier today, the Ministry 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 the fitment of FASTag in M and N categories of motor vehicles with effect from January 1. 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.

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FASTags, which facilitate electronic payment of fee at toll plazas, was introduced in 2016. The central government extended the FASTag deadline for the vehicles from January 1, 2021, to February 15, 2021.

Replying to a query on FASTags,  Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government had extended FASTag registration date limit two-three times before and now, it would not be extended further. Now, everybody should immediately buy FASTags, he added.

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(With agency inputs)

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