FASTag to Fast-track Highways

Without systemic reforms, will electronic tolling boost highway development?

 

The central government has implemented FASTag as a “mandatory” option for toll payment at nearly 90% of the lanes across the 500-odd toll plazas of the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) road network, from 15 December 2019. FASTag is the brand name for the electronic toll collection (ETC) system operated by the National Payments Corporation of India, along with the Indian Highways Management Company Limited and various commercial banks. Under this system, vehicles are fitted with a radio frequency identification tag that is linked to their bank accounts or wallets, thereby making their passage through the toll plazas cashless. While the stated benefits of this move include decongestion at the highways,

potentially less revenue leakage, and increased transparency in processing toll transactions, the question remains as to whether these benefits are strong enough for the highway development projects in this country to overcome the speed breakers of the NHAI’s mounting debt burdens.

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Updated On : 6th Jan, 2020

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