In a first, Bandra-Worli sea link starts FASTag

Mumbai: Bandra Worli Sea Link is now FASTag-enabled. It is an electronic toll collection system that allows you to make automatic payments from a linked account through Radio Frequency Identification Technology.

It involves attaching a tag to the vehicle’s windscreen allowing passengers to pass through without stopping. A scanner detects the tag and automatically deducts the amount from a passenger’s e-wallet.

A tag costs Rs 200, and a refundable deposit has to be paid depending on the kind of vehicle one owns. This deposit can be reclaimed once the user closes the FASTag account. The user can recharge the account through Credit/Debit cards or through net-banking. The minimum recharge amount is of Rs 100.

However, only six of the total 16 lanes have been equipped with the technology in Phase-1. In the next, six more lanes will be enabled. The remaining four will be kept for vehicles that pay toll in cash, according to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. The other tolled roads in the state will also get equipped with the FASTag technology gradually, said Vijay Waghmare, Joint Managing Director (II), MSRDC.

Speaking to the Free Press Journal, Waghmare said that the technology was first introduced on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and later on the old Mumbai-Pune Highway (NH-48). The National Highway Authority of India had initiated the system to make all lanes of the National Highway FASTag enabled by January 15.

“In the next eight days, all of Mumbai's entry points will be FASTag-enabled. The aim is to introduce the technology in a planned and systematic manner, instead of receiving complaints from users. For instance, issues like the scanner being faulty, or money being deducted twice from the e-wallet. The pass holders will have two months to use the money they have already spent,” Waghmare explained.

Daily, about 50,000 vehicles ply on the Bandra Worli Sea Link. A four-wheeler pays Rs 70 (one-way toll) and Rs 105 for return journey.

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