- PC: Livemint.com

Have you come across a nasty doughnut stall at an event? Which must’ve had sold like two doughnuts in an hour? And then by the end of the show, they’re just giving out the rest of their stock for free? The Indian Transport Ministry is acting up similarly.

With the deadline to switch to electronic tolling approaching real quick, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to give away free FASTags. The NHAI will also bear the initial security deposit for the electronic tag.

“NHAI has set up point of sale (PoS) on several toll plazas across the country, and they are giving out FASTags free of cost,” Minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said.

The Indian population hasn’t been showing the expected urgency of getting themselves a FASTag before the set date. Moreover, online platforms like Amazon retailing these tags seem to have run out of stock for deliveries pan-India.

Hence, taking the matter in own hands along with the intention to ensure the timely execution of mandatory electronic toll collection (ETC) across the country, the Indian Ministry of Road and Transport seems to leave no stone unturned in making travel along national and state highways, a seamless experience.

“NHAI will also bear the Rs 150 security deposit of your FASTag,” Gadkari said. “We only want to encourage people to adopt electronic tolling, so they don’t have to stop at toll plazas.”

As of now, 27,000 PoS have been erected by banks and the NHAI across the country. And out of the 537 toll plazas across the country, more than 90 per cent is said to have been fully equipped with ETC infrastructure, as per NHAI chairman Sukhbir Sandhu.

Even though the Government remains adamant on the stringent execution of the ETC, toll plazas will still have a hybrid lane for people not carrying or having a FASTag. Ensuring no issues are left behind on their end, the Center even deployed special officers called Central Prabhari Officers for monitoring the successful implementation of the same.

FASTags will remain available free of cost at your nearest PoS until December 1st, 2019.

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