Toll collections through FASTags went up by nearly 67% on year to Rs 38,084 crore in FY22, in keeping wiith the trend of robust growth in such receipts over the last few years.
At the end of March 2021, a total of 49.5 million FASTags were issued. the figure was 31.2 million in March 2020.
As per official data, as many as 270.41 million FASTag transactions were recorded in March, up 11% over February this year.
Collection of user fees on highways, both state and national highways, also went up nearly 13% to Rs 4,095 crore in March over a month ago.
In March 2021, Rs 3,086 crore was collected as toll from 193.21 million transactions.
In March 2020, there were 84.55 million FASTag transactions and `1,421 crore was collected as toll through the electronic mode of collection of user fees on highways.
FASTags are used to collect toll on national highways and a few state highways where it has been implemented.
The Centre declared all lanes of fee plazas on national highways as FASTag lane with effect from midnight of February 16, 2021.
On national highways, FASTag penetration now stands at 96.5%.
Around 964 toll plazas are live on FASTag now across the country.
“The rise in FASTag transactions and collection of toll points towards heightened economic activity. The collections will witness a steep increase in coming months given the significant hike in toll rates in the range of 8.4-13% with effect from April 1, 2022. Further, the increase in traffic is expected to be in the range of 5-6%,” said Icra’s Rajeshwar Burla.
The bump up in FASTag will be much more in year-on-year terms for April and May 2022 as there was an element of productivity loss in April and May 2021 due to the impact of the second wave on people movement which witnessed 10-25% drop in toll collections on a sequential basis, he said.
The rise in traffic on highways and resulting higher toll would yield well for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to build newer stretches and retire debt that mounted to `3.5 trillion at the end of March 2022.