New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) The Tourism Development Council Manali has authorised IDFC First Bank to collect the green tax by way of FASTag from motorists entering the city at toll plazas.

The hill city in Himachal Pradesh is visited by around 50 lakh tourists every month.

The Tourism Development Council Manali and IDFC First Bank on Thursday launched the payment of green tax using FASTag in the hill city. It is for the first time the automatic toll collection system will be used to pay green tax in the country.

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It will make such payments cashless and convenient for motorists in Manali, IDFC First Bank said in a statement.

So far, FASTag is being used for payment of toll, fuel and parking charges.

Currently, IDFC First Bank is the largest acquirer, servicing over 400 toll plazas, and has issued about 60 lakh FASTags. And, the transactions by motorists using the bank’s tags average about 20 lakh a day.

B Madhivanan, chief operating officer of IDFC First Bank, said India is at a new frontier when it comes to the digitisation of transit-related payments He added that it will make payments simpler and faster for motorists.

“We have extended the benefits of RFID technology to payments for fuel and parking using FASTag. We are pleased to partner with the Tourism Development Council Manali to introduce FASTag for the first time for payment of green tax, making it cashless.

“This will reduce stoppage time and provide motorists an effortless cross-over at Manali,” Madhivanan said.

Kullu Deputy Commissioner Ashutosh Garg said the introduction of the FASTag facility for green tax collection is an initiative of the district administration and TDC Manali along with IHMCL, NPCI and IDFC First Bank.

It will facilitate seamless transactions, reduce human interface and save time as well as encourage digital transactions, he said.

The automatic toll collection technology using FASTag was jointly launched by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) as a medium to accept toll fare across all national highway plazas.

Banks act as issuers and acquirers in this ecosystem that processes about seven million transactions a day. FASTags are accepted across all national highway toll plazas and select state highways. The latest count of active toll plazas was around 900. PTI KPM HRS hrs