Transportation Current Affairs - 2020

Government makes FASTag mandatory for all new 4-wheelers from December 1, 2017

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued notification to make FASTag mandatory for all new four-wheelers from December 1, 2017.

The notification follows amendment to Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) Rules, 1989 made by central government as per powers vested in it under Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.

Key Facts

The notification explained that FASTag means an onboard unit (transponder) or any such device fitted on front windscreen on vehicle. It should be fixed on front windscreens by automobile manufacturers or authorised dealers. In case of any vehicle which is sold in form of drive-away-chassis without windscreen, FASTags shall be fitted by vehicle owner before registration of such vehicles. The tag can be purchased from tag issuers and after it is linked to prepaid account then vehicle owner is required to recharge or top up tag as per requirement.

FASTag

FASTag is device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from prepaid or savings account linked to it. It is affixed on the windscreen of vehicle and enables the commuter to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for cash transactions.

The tag on windshield will be read by readers fitted in dedicated Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) lanes of toll plazas after vehicles passes through toll plazas. The user will receive SMS alerts for toll transactions, low balance and all other developments.

FASTag has a validity of five years and after purchasing it only needs to recharge or top up as per the requirement. Its major advantages of include no need to carry cash for the toll transactions, time-saving, near non-stop movement of vehicles leading to lower fuel cost among others

Presently, FASTag is operational at about 370 toll plazas across National Highways. The system is inter-operable and same FASTag can be used across all toll plazas under National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme.

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PM launches South Asia’s first Ro-Ro ferry service in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first phase of Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch district in the Gulf of Cambay, Gujarat. It is South Asia’s first world class Ro-Ro ferry service.

Key Facts

The Ro-Ro ferry services are vessels made to carry wheeled cargo (such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars) that are driven on and off ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. It is opposite of lift-on and lift-off (lo-lo) vessels which uses crane to load and unload cargo.

The first of its kind Ro-Ro ferry in India will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles and 250 passengers between the two ports. It will reduce the distance between Ghogha in Saurashtra and Dahej is South Gujrat from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres. Besides, it will also reduce seven to eight hours of travel time to link Saurashtra with South Gujarat to one hour.

Benefits

The ferry service will save travel time and fuel and reduce pressure on congested roads. ‎It will promote regional trade and business and prove to be game-changer for transportation of goods and passengers. ‎It will provide at least one crore jobs in the next 4-5 years. ‎It will give a boost to the local economy.

Background

‎Ro-Ro ferry is a small part of Sagarmala project of Central Government that aims to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India’s 7,500-km long coastline, 14,500-km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.

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