Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority has decided to install FASTag reloadable tags in order to facilitate commuters to travel free not only on the 158 km of Outer Ring Road, but also across all toll plazas nationwide.
Commuters will be allowed to travel free through a toll plaza on National Highways if the vehicle has a valid FASTag with sufficient balance. The procedure would be a part of the electronic toll collection system.
The FASTag is a reloadable tag that allows automatic deduction of toll without having to stop for carrying out the cash transaction. The tag uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and is fixed on the windscreen of the vehicle once active. According to highly placed sources, the mechanism involved to use RFID tags ORR has been running at a snail’s pace. In order to compensate for the delay, the HMDA has come up with the idea of providing FASTag in the ORR stretch. The authority has also decided to have a trial run before entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the bankers.
HMDA commissioner T. Chiranjeevulu said that the RFID tags would not only be useful in the ORR but in any toll plaza across the country. He said based on the results of the trial, the HMDA would select a banker to issue FASTags. He said that the bankers would provide FASTags free of cost, where commuters could recharge the tags based on their requirement. Like RFID tags, FASTags would be attached to the windscreen of vehicles and the sensors at toll plazas would detect them automatically.
“The FASTag account can be operated online using the issuer agency’s web portal. The account can be recharged online using debit/credit card/ RTGS/NEFT or through Net-banking. For online recharge, convenience fees are levied against transaction processing fees. The tag can be obtained at toll plazas or banks. Some banks have online forms that can be filled up by customers. Once enquiry forms are filled, and a query is generated, the customer can visit the office to fill up a required form and submit necessary documents to create a FASTag account,” he said.
When asked about the delay in ETC, the HMDA commissioner said that the authority has been laying a dedicated internet cable with 100 MBPS at all toll plazas at all toll plazas along the ORR. He added once the cable work is complete, commuters can use RFIDs and FASTags.