FASTag takes a slow pace on state, city roads

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which collects toll from 40 state-run highways and city's five toll plazas apart from the  Bandra Worli Sea Link, has postponed the plan to introduce mandatory FASTag initiative by more than a month, to February next year.

"Since the use of FASTag on vehicles has already been made mandatory on National Highways, to begin the same on state and city roads simultaneously will be a laborious task. Especially because there is a shortage of FASTag in the market, and the vehicle owners are complaining about it," a senior MSRDC official on condition of anonymity said, confirming the development. Earlier, the plan was to implement mandatory FASTag on state, city roads from January 1.  

There are 70 toll plazas in the state, of which 40 are controlled by MSRDC and another 30 by the PWD. In the city, there are five toll plazas -- LBS Marg, Vashi, Airoli, Dahisar and Mulund -- besides the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. 

The MSRDC official, however, said the vendors are not finding it difficult to supply FASTags to heavy vehicles, unlike the case of light motor vehicles. "Several small vehicle owners are complaining about not getting the FASTags, the reason why the National Highway Authority is also not imposing fines strictly," he claimed. 

On the contrary, an official from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) of Navi Mumbai office, denied that there is a shortage of FASTags in the market. The official said there are 32,000 Point-of-Sale (POS) across the country that provide FASTags. "So there is no chance of any shortage," he said. 

Interestingly, NHAI has also extended the FASTag deadline on NHs by another one month, till January 2020.

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