One Vehicle, One FASTag implemented

GS Paper II

News Excerpt:

The 'One Vehicle, One FASTag' initiative of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been implemented on April 1, 2024.

FASTag:

  • FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag used for making toll payments directly from the customers linked prepaid or savings/current account.
  • FASTag is issued to each vehicle based on registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle. Once it is affixed to a vehicle, it cannot be transferred to another vehicle.
  • It is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables the customer to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for any toll payments.
    • The toll fare is directly deducted from the linked account of the customer.
    • Users can recharge their FASTag using any bank and various payment methods such as BBPS, UPI, net banking, etc.
  • FASTag can be purchased from any of the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) Member Banks.
    • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has developed the NETC program to meet the electronic tolling requirements of the Indian market.
  • With penetration rate of around 98% and over 8 crore users, FASTag has revolutionised the Electronic Toll Collection system in the country.

One Vehicle, One FASTag concept:

  • It aims to deter the practice of using a single FASTag for multiple vehicles or associating multiple FASTags with one vehicle.
    • The concept indicates that a vehicle owner is permitted to have only one active FASTag for one vehicle. 

Need for the One Vehicle, One FASTag concept:

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken an initiative to address the issue of multiple FASTags being issued for a single vehicle.
    • This has been observed to be done without the mandatory KYC process, which is a violation of RBI's mandate.
  • Additionally, it has been observed that some vehicle owners do not fix the FASTags on their windshields, leading to unnecessary delays at toll plazas and causing inconvenience to fellow users of the National Highway.

Significance of the initiative:

  • It will enhance efficiency of the Electronic Toll Collection system and provide seamless movement at the Toll Plazas.
  • The ‘One Vehicle, One FASTag’ initiative will help to make toll operations more efficient and ensure seamless & comfortable journeys for the National Highway users.
  • FASTag offers the convenience of cashless payment along with benefits like - savings on fuel and time as the customer does not has to stop at the toll plaza.

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI):

  • It was set up by an act of the Parliament, NHAI Act, 1988.
  • NHAI is mandated to implement National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which is India’s largest ever Highways Project in a phased manner.
  • Mission
    • To develop, maintain and manage National Highways vested in it by the Government.
    • To collect fees on National Highways, regulate and control the plying of vehicles on National Highways for its proper management.
    • To develop and provide consultancy and construction services in India and abroad and carry on research activities in relation to the development, maintenance and management of highways.
    • To advise the Central Government on matters relating to highways.
    • To assist on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon, any State Government in the formulation and implementation of schemes for highway development.