Free FASTag: Differently-Abled Exempted From Paying Highway Toll

Free FASTag: Differently-Abled Exempted From Paying Highway TollA toll plaza on the Delhi-Faridabad highway. (Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times)
Snapshot
  • Vehicles of differently-abled with zero transaction tag exempted from paying highway toll.

In a big relief to ‘divyangs’ (differently-abled) vehicles registered in their names will be permitted to ride the national highway without having to pay tolls.

Persons with disabilities (PwDs) will be required to get a “zero transaction” or free FASTag for their vehicles from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has included the provision to exempt such vehicles from paying toll charges in the NH Fee Rules.

Until now, vehicles modified for use by the physically challenged were exempted from paying toll tax in India. This was defined as “invalid carriage” in the Central Motor Vehicle Act.

As per the 2011 Census, nearly 2.7 crore people in India were physically disabled. But only a very small percentage of them drive a vehicle.

According to the ministry, the NHAI will entertain the requests of only those persons who have a certificate as specified by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Only the vehicles with the zero transaction tag will be exempted from paying the toll charge on the National Highway.

The “zero transaction FASTag” is available for different exempted categories of vehicles attached to people such as MPs, judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, MLAs in their home state, chief secretaries, secretaries in the central government, and vehicles deployed for essential services.

This is to ensure that no unauthorised person avails the exemption as rampant misuse can result in revenue loss for the NHAI.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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