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How FASTag work? What was idea behind it from government perspective.

Almost all of us would have seen the toll plazas that collect money from the people for using the roads to drive on, recently this model has proven most productive to build infrastructure in the country as according to the government, it cannot afford such costly highways on its own and then corruption is a big reason that takes away the highway quality and its strength that it shall bear.

With advanced technologies in the market, the idea of FaSTag was proposed to save the time of the people to avoid standing in long queues to pay the toll tax because the transactions were done in cash and it usually took 2-3 minutes per vehicle making it a huge waiting time. To cut that short FASTag was implemented. Take a look on what this is actually?

What is FASTag?

The FASTag is a reloadable tag that allows automatic deduction of toll without having to stop for carrying out the cash transaction. It is created and maintained by National Payments Corporation of India.

The tag uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and is fixed on the windscreen of the vehicle once active.

RFID is the use of radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object. A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within the direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked.

Further, FASTag ensures seamless traffic movement, cut travel time short, and that all decisions had been taken in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicles (CMV) Rules.

The Section 136A of Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 puts the responsibility on the Central Government to make rules for the electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety.

According to government, Legislating the establishment of robust electronic enforcement for traffic violations will result in reduction in human intervention and the associated corruption.

A robust electronic enforcement system including speed cameras, closed-circuit televisions cameras, speed guns and such other technology will ensure violations being captured at a greater scale.

A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Supreme Court challenging the government’s decision to make FASTag, the electronic toll collection chip, mandatory for all vehicles at toll plazas on national highways.

Provisions had been made at all toll plazas along national highways to fit the chip in vehicles that did not have FASTag.

In cases where it was not possible to fit vehicles

with FASTag on the spot for any reason, the vehicle are permitted to still ply on highways, on extreme left of the FASTag lanes.

However, such vehicles were required to pay twice the toll amount. The double user fees or penalties imposed on vehicles without FASTag on national highways were also in accordance with the National Highway Fee (determination of rates and collection) Rules, 2008. The government said in the court that entertaining such petitions would cause “irreparable loss” to the National Highways Authority of India.

Challenges to the toll plazas

Right to Freedom of movement is guaranteed under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. It entitles every citizen to move freely throughout the territory of the country. However, this right is protected against only state action and not private individuals. Moreover, it is available only to the citizens and to shareholders of a company but not to foreigners or legal persons like companies or corporations, etc.

It is also argued that the toll plazas obstruct the traffic flow but the government argues it also makes and maintain the higways that help in smooth travel and improve the health of the vehicle and reduces the pollution levels.

It is also argued that the toll plazas are expensive when the people are already paying other taxes and it adds to added pressureon the poor. But the government argues that it has no money to create huge highways without using this model of toll plazas.



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