NEW DELHI: The government is set to extend the deadline for 100% collection of toll charges on the National Highway (NH) network through FASTag. Earlier, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had announced to completely do away with cash transactions for paying toll charges from January 1.
Sources said the extension would be at least for a month considering that still a large number of commuters using highways are paying in cash for the toll charges. Currently, the share of transactions by FASTag is hovering around 75-78%.
To discourage cash transactions at toll plazas, all lanes barring one on each side have been made dedicated “FASTag lanes” and any vehicle entering these lanes without FASTag are liable to pay double the normal toll fee.
The government had been toying with the proposal for doing away with the cash transaction for the past few months after making the installation of a valid FASTag mandatory on all four-wheelers and bigger vehicles from January 1. The government expects this mandatory provision as per the Motor Vehicle Rule would push people to go for the digital mode of paying the toll charge since violation would attract penalty.
“Cash is a legal mode of transaction and none can be denied to pay in cash. Hence, the best option would be strict enforcement of the MV Rule, which has made valid FASTag mandatory. There has been a significant increase in the number of commuters using FASTags to pay toll charges in the recent months,” said an official.