The Central Government has come with amended rules when it comes to usage of FASTags at toll plazas across the country. A new notification issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways says that if a vehicle without a valid or functional FASTag enters a dedicated FASTag lane it will attract penalties. Such users will have to pay the double of actual toll fee from now on. Until now the double toll was applicable only if the vehicle didn't carry the FASTag and entered in dedicated FASTag lane.
Penalty will be charged even if FASTag wallets don't have enough balance.
The amendment in the National Highways Fee according to determination of Rates and Collection Rules, 2008 is applicable to all categories of vehicles. It has been noticed that several users were entering dedicated FASTag lanes with invalid or non-functional FASTags in order to escape long queues in the cash lanes. This used to clog the FASTag lanes and also didn't attract any penalties but now the Government has put a stop to this activity.
The Ministry has been actively pushing the use of FASTags on all national highways in the country. The mechanism was initiated in December 2019 and as of now only 1 lane at every plaza is allowed to collect toll fee in cash, while all other lanes can only be accessed with valid FASTags. When the Coronavirus lockdown began in March 2020, collection of fee at toll plazas was suspended by the Government. The toll collection resumed with increased rates when the first phase of the lockdown got over.