The road transport ministry has extended the deadline for 100% collection of toll charges on the National Highway (NH) network through FASTag till February 15. However, this is not the first time that the government has deferred the deadline of implementation mandatory FASTag payments at the toll booths in the country.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had earlier announced that the toll booths will not accept cash payment or any other mode of payment from 1st January 2020. But the deadline is now announced to be 15th February. The NHAI has announced similar deadlines in the past but has always deferred the deadline due to various reasons.
It is assumed that after repeated delays in the implementation of the cash-free toll booths, it seems like there will not be any more delays now.
According to the reports, the current share of FASTag in the toll payments is about 75 to 80 per cent. That is about 80 vehicles in every 100 vehicles use FASTag as payment at the toll gates.
The ministry has said that the NHAI can obtain regulatory requirement from it for ensuring a 100 per cent cashless toll collection at the booths from 15th February.
NHAI official reportedly said that there is a significant rise in the number of transactions made by FASTag users in recent months and it is still increasing.
Further, cash is a legal tender and is a legal mode of transaction, which is why they cannot deny the motorists to use the cash at all. However, the best approach to the problem is to strictly enforce the Motor Vehicle Rule, which has made FASTag mandatory in every new vehicle.