Payments can be made through FASTag as well as cash at the lanes, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said.
In its earlier order, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had mandated fitment of FASTag with effect from January 1, 2021. It also said that the cash lanes at the toll plazas will be closed.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Wednesday, the government said that the cash lane facility at the toll plazas will be extended till February 15.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said that fitment of FASTag in the M and N categories of motor vehicles sold before December 1, 2017, has been made mandatory from January 1, 2021. The M category consists of vehicles that carry at least four wheelers, while the N category includes both freight carriers and passenger carriers.
The ministry said, "Payments through FASTag as well as cash till February 15. Hundred per cent e-tolling will be rolled out from January 1."
A National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) official told that, "According to the Act, it is mandatory for the trains to be FASTag-fit from January 1, 2021. However, the cash lanes will be operational till February 15."
Earlier Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had pointed out that it would be useful for commuters as they will not need to pause their journey at tolls for cash payments, could save time and fuel as well.
What is FASTag?
FASTag is an electronic toll collection system operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). The system employs Radio-frequency Identification technology which enables the users a smooth flow over Toll gates without waiting. The payment is made digitally through the FasTag linked to the bank wallet. Mobile Apps such as Airtel do have FasTag easily recharge mode.
FASTag is available online through Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. Government has opened stalls nearby every tolls in highway for fixing FASTags and to recharge it easily.
According to the sources, FASTag has become mandatory for M and N class four-wheelers sold before December 1, 2017. For this, the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 were amended. The ministry issued a notification regarding this on November 6th.
(with inputs from IANS)