Ministry of Road Transport and Highways secretary Yudhvir Singh Malik recently announced that with the growing use of FASTAG devices, which allow electronic collections at toll plazas along national highways, there has been a 24 per cent increase in toll revenue.
Booster shot as toll revenue rises, thanks to FASTags! Ministry of Road Transport and Highways secretary Yudhvir Singh Malik recently announced that with the growing use of FASTAG devices, which allow electronic collections at toll plazas along national highways, there has been a 24 per cent increase in toll revenue. A FASTAG device allows for almost non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas by making use of the RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. This technology is used to make toll payments directly with the help of prepaid accounts that are linked to it. According to an HT report, Malik said that from December 2016 to September 2018, the number of FASTAG users has gone up to 3 million. He said that around 24 per cent of electronic toll revenue is now being generated through FASTags. The move is a huge relief for regular travellers on national highways, he added.
As per the year-end review issued by the ministry in December 2016, from about 3,133 number of FASTAG units being sold in May 2016, the number of FASTAG units in December 2016 went up to 178,266. Also, the fees collected rose to Rs 47.02 crore in December 2016 from Rs 71 lakh in May 2016.
Till the month of December last year, 770,000 FASTAG units were being used by road users. Also, according to the ministry, there was a significant growth in user fees collected through FASTAGS- from Rs 179.1 crore with 11.2 per cent penetration in January 2017, to Rs 285.3 crore with 18.5 per cent penetration in November 2017. As per the latest ministry data available for September 2018, electronic toll generates Rs 15.44 crore per day at toll plazas and around Rs 60 crore is generated per day through non-electronic payments.
A statement issued by the ministry in December 2016 stated that e-tolling was facilitated in a big way by demonetization. From around 5 per cent in October-November 2016, electronic collection of fees rose to nearly 11 per cent by mid-December 2016. Malik said that FASTAG units offer good incentives such as 5 to 10 per cent cash- back. Also, they are sold at 21 banks, he added.
Out of the 440 toll plazas at the national highways, 417 have become electronic toll-compliant. Malik said that the move provides a major boost to commercial vehicles as they are the most regular commuters on the national highway network. He further added that only 13 per cent of the total number of FASTAG users is non-commercial vehicles.