New Delhi: The National Highway Authority of India's (NHAI) mandatory electronic toll collection programme FASTag kicks in from January 15.
However, to avoid inconvenience to citizens, the government has planned to provide one lane as hybrid lane in all toll booths.
The hybrid lane will accept FASTag and other modes of payment like cash and card.
The government earlier had announced rollout of mandatory FASTag from December 1, which was later extended to December 15, 2019 and then again to January 15, 2020.
To pass through FASTag only lanes, car owners have to affix a prepaid card (FASTag) just like a Sim card - on their vehicle's windscreens. While they pass through the toll booths, the toll amount will automatically be deducted from the FASTag. This is expected to reduce traffic snarls in toll collection centres.
Earlier, the period from December 15 to January 15 was considered a transition phase and it was ordered to ensure that the least possible number of the declared FASTag lanes are converted into hybrid lanes and at least 75 per cent lanes of every fee plaza should remain operational as FASTag lanes.
According to the ministry it was a temporary measure to be adopted for 30 days only to facilitate smooth flow of traffic so that no inconvenience is caused to the citizens.
The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme, the flagship initiative of the ministry, has been implemented on a pan-India basis in order to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of user fee as per the notified rates, using passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
After announcement of waiver of tag cost from November 21, there has been a growth in FASTag issuance.
A customer may call on the helpline number '1033' for any assistance related to FASTags, the ministry had said and added that they can also reach out to banks to obtain FASTags.