Internet shutdown hits FastTag implementation in Valley

Anantnag: With internet suspended in Kashmir, National Highway Authority of India’s (NHAI’s) “FastTag” initiative, for national highway toll payments is yet to take off.
The internet services were suspended in the Valley on the midnight of August 4 in run up to abrogation of Article-370.
The government of India has made payment of national highway tolls through the high-tech “FastTag” mandatory across the India starting December 1.
FastTag is a device that uses Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) for making toll payments directly from a pre-paid account. The RFID is affixed on the windscreen of a vehicle and is read by a device installed at the toll plaza, allowing the vehicle to move without stopping for any cash transactions.
While people in other parts of the country can order their FastTag online and recharge their pre-paid account, however, commuters in Valley have option to do so.
“People will have to visit the toll plaza to get their FastTag and visit their banks to get their accounts linked with it for future transactions,” a source at the Kachachkoot toll plaza in Anantnag district told Kashmir Reader.
Moreover, the people here will have no way to monitor or keep a regular tab on their FastTag account given that SMS services are suspended in the valley as well. This essentially means that for every FastTag transaction to be monitored, a commuter has to visit a bank.
He will have to do the same for recharging his pre-paid account, the official said.
There is also a mobile application of the service which is used to carry out transactions and keep a tab of your FastTag account. That too will be unavailable for people here in Kashmir.
Regional Officer of the NHAI, Hemraj Bhagat, acknowledged that without the internet people will face difficulty in using the FastTag services.
“It is being taken into consideration.The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has written to the Chairman NHAI and asked him to delay the implementation of FastTag in Kashmir by a month,” he said.

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