India markets open in 7 hours 17 minutes

Soon use FASTags to buy petrol, pay parking fees! NHAI wants RFID device to be the “Aadhaar for vehicles”

Devanjana Nag

FASTag, an RFID device for seamless movement through toll plazas may soon come in handy to buy petrol and pay parking fees! Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that in future FASTags can also be used to buy petrol and pay parking fees, according to a PTI report. The NHAI is working on various plans to expand the benefits of FASTags. Recently, NHAI has announced that FASTags will be available at petrol pumps to make it easier for commuters to purchase them. A FASTag is a device, affixed on the windscreen of a vehicle that employs RFID (radio frequency identification) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it. Therefore, it allows the commuter to drive through toll plazas without stopping the vehicle for cash transactions.

Gadkari said that the move to make FASTags available at petrol pumps will ensure faster roll-out of the electronic toll collection across the country. While launching bank neutral FASTags issued by IHMCL (Indian Highways Management Company Limited) recently, Gadkari, said that initially, these will be available across 50 select petrol pumps and by the next financial year, the number would be increased to 100. For sale of every FASTag, the petrol outlets will get Rs 100, he said.

NHAI Chairman Sanjeev Ranjan has said that the aim is to make FASTags a base for transactions in order to buy petrol and pay parking fees. He believes that FASTags should work as the “Aadhaar for vehicles”.

At present, there are 450 toll plazas under NHAI while 500 toll plazas were with the states. Also, the central government is planning to implement electronic tolling system across state toll plazas, Gadkari added. Interestingly, now consumers under the IHMCL issued FASTags would be able to link their FASTags with any of their bank accounts or payment mobile applications. The feature was not available earlier. Thus, earlier people had to link their FASTags to the banks from which they purchase the tags.

The ministry is now aiming to increase electronic toll transactions from the current about 30% on National Highways to about 50% by the month of March this year. The move would be translated to an estimated revenue of around Rs 12,000 crore, the report said. Meanwhile, two FASTag mobile apps were also introduced recently namely, My FASTag Customer App, which has the feature of real-time recharge of any FASTag through UPI and FASTag Point of Sales App, to create and manage distribution partners as well as to allow sales via petrol pumps.