Truckers Grapple with Cancelling of Previous Tags Following Implementation of ‘One Vehicle, One FASTag’ Norm


In a bid to streamline the movement of vehicles at toll plazas nationwide, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has enforced the ‘One Vehicle, One FASTag’ norm effective from Monday, April 1. This directive aims to ensure that only one FASTag is linked to each vehicle, thus eliminating the practice of multiple FASTags being used for a single vehicle.

Addressing concerns over the misuse of FASTags, an official from NHAI highlighted the necessity of this regulation, emphasizing that multiple FASTags for a single vehicle were causing delays in toll collections and inconveniencing fellow motorists. Reports had surfaced indicating instances where single tags were utilized across multiple vehicles or where multiple tags were linked to a solitary vehicle, contravening the Reserve Bank of India’s KYC mandate.

However, while the move towards a unified FASTag system is lauded for its intention to enhance toll collection efficiency, it has presented challenges for truckers and transporters tasked with managing fleets of vehicles. Abhishek Gupta, Secretary of the All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), voiced concerns regarding the complexities involved in cancelling previous FASTags, particularly for those operating multiple vehicles.

Gupta highlighted the arduous process truckers must undergo to deactivate previous FASTags, which typically entails engaging with banks and obtaining No Objection Certificates (NOCs). For individuals constantly on the move across the country, this process proves not only time-consuming but also impractical.

To deactivate a FASTag, commuters have to navigate a multifaceted procedure, either offline through designated Point of Sale (POS) locations or online via the FASTag customer portal or the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) website. While manageable for individual commuters, this process poses significant challenges for transporters managing fleets of trucks.

Gupta stressed the need for a more streamlined cancellation process, advocating for a system that simplifies the porting out (cancellation) of FASTags. Such an initiative, he argued, would not only save time and effort but also contribute to a smoother transition to the new FASTag norm.

Despite these challenges, FASTags have significantly transformed electronic toll collection in India since their introduction in 2016, boasting a penetration rate of approximately 98 percent and over 8 crore users nationwide. Looking ahead, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to revolutionizing India’s toll collection system through the introduction of a satellite-based toll collection mechanism.

This innovative approach is expected to enhance efficiency, potentially reduce toll taxes, and streamline the journey for vehicles traversing the country’s highways. However, addressing the hurdles associated with cancelling previous FASTags remains imperative to ensure a seamless experience for commuters and truckers alike as India’s toll collection system continues to evolve.