FASTag: If Scanner doesn't Read RFID, then that Vehicle is to be Exempted from Toll Fee, says 2018 GR Notification
While the union government has made FASTag mandatory from Monday mid-night, there is no respite to road travellers from long queues at toll booths. Add to this the poor infrastructure available at these toll plazas, which makes it difficult to get the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag scanned properly. However, if there is sufficient balance in the valid FASTag account, then the vehicle user is exempted from paying any fee, says a notification published in the gazette in May 2018.
Pune-based activist Sanjay Shirodkar, who shared the GR, says, for the technical issues at the toll plaza, vehicle user should not be punished. He says, “If RFID is not getting scanned and there is sufficient balance in the FASTag account at any toll plaza, then it is failure of the toll contractor to collect toll. Basically, this is infrastructure failure at the toll plaza. In this case, the affected vehicle user should be not be charged any money as per the GR notification.”
The notification published on 7 May 2018, in the gazette says, "...if a vehicle user with a valid, functional FASTag or any such device with sufficient balance in the linked account crossing a fee plaza installed with electronic toll collection infrastructure, is not able to pay user fee through FASTag or any such device owing to malfunctioning of electronic toll collection infrastructure, the vehicle user shall be permitted to pass the fee plaza without payment of any user fee. An appropriate zero transaction receipt shall be issued mandatorily for all such transactions.”
The electronic toll collection infrastructure mentioned in the notification is a set of equipment comprising hardware and software that facilitates electronic collection of user fees. (Check the GR at the end of this story)
According to social media posts and reports, instead of easing traffic flow, with the mandatory FASTag, there are jams on almost all major toll plazas. Many vehicle users face a common technical issue when the RFID scanners at the toll plaza fail to read the FASTag. In some cases, money also gets deducted from the user's account. However, unless the user pays the money the boom barrier remains closed.
Since 1 December 2017, FASTag has been made mandatory for all registrations of new four wheeled vehicles and is being supplied by the manufacturers or dealers. It has been further mandated that a valid FASTag is mandatory while getting a new third-party insurance. This provision shall be applicable from 1 April 2021.