FASTag-The ePlatform Towards Fast Freightage
Once a truck pulls out of its loading point, challenges are many before it reaches its delivery point leaving no guarantee on punctuality. Excise check posts, toll ways, and related time delays had always hindered uninterrupted commutation of goods in the Indian logistics space. The implementation of GST is expected to reduce excise check post delays, which mean toll plazas are going to be the main roadblock on free-flow of goods. On average, any truck stops five times during its every journey from Chennai to Bengaluru, incurring time delays even summing up to hours. However, today with the advancements in technology, highways are not performance abbreviating roadways anymore, they are smart ways. Thanks to the newly introduced FASTag card system that allow payments without the need to halt trucks at each toll plaza. FASTag cards, powered by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, is a considerable advancement in the IoT landscape and its application. The RFID tags are affixed to a vehicle’s windscreen enabling automatic payments. The toll fee is automatically deducted from the prepaid FASTag cards or withdrew from any account linked to them, by a device at the toll plaza. These smart cards, valid for five years, can be recharged as per requirements, even through online. FASTag cards can be purchased from authorized agencies across the country with a one-time payment of 200 rupees. The initiative is a joint venture of NHAI with Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) and National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to enable a near non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas and cashless payment of toll fee across the nation.
The new payment method offers multiple benefits including a 10% cash back on all the transactions at all national highway toll plazas during the current year. Users can recharge their FASTag cards through credit card, debit card, net banking, or e-wallets. They can also access every detail regarding past transactions, account history, and balance amount from the customer portal.
Above all, there is immense possibility popping out of the new initiative. The vast amount of data collected from various toll plazas can be analyzed to put into best use. The information can be utilized for better monitoring to offer cash reductions to most commuting trucks, studying traffic flows and the trends, and strengthening the national security programs.
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