The Government has made FASTag mandatory in India. They want 100 percent of the toll collection to be done via FASTags as it is more convenient and there is no cash handling. Because it is much faster than exchanging cash, it would also help in reducing queues at the toll gates. Here, is a weird case from Vishakhapatnam, in which the owner of a Honda City is getting FASTag deductions from Maharashtra during the lockdown.
The owner of the Honda City is R Prashant. He received a text message that Rs. 75 has been deducted from his account for toll charges for his vehicle. The toll that was mentioned in the text message was Tasawade Tollplaza in Maharashtra. Just like anyone else, Prashant thought this to be a computer error and filed a complaint. You have to use your registered mobile to file the complaint to 1033.
He was surprised that every time he lodged a complaint, more money was deducted from his account. The toll-free complaint cell for National Highway Helpline suggested Prashant to file the complaint using the WhatsApp number. Prashant was using his car for his daily commute to his office only. His residence is at Muralinagar whereas his office is located at Marripalem in Visakhapatnam.
Because of the lockdown that was imposed in the area, Prashant did not go out of the area. But still, his FASTag was charged by toll plaza located at Pune-Solapur highway in Maharashtra. Finally, the National Highway officials contacted him and told him that they will look into the matter.
Prashant suspected foul play so he also brought this issue to the notice of the airport police in Vizag. He said that he bought the FASTag three years ago in Bangalore and has been using it since then. In the past three years, he never faces such an issue.
He has worked in the National Highway department for 9 years and then moved to Vizag on Feb 12. So, he knows that sometimes there can be a technical issue due to which double charges are deducted at the toll plaza. But the matter of concern, in this case, is that the vehicle was nowhere close to the toll and still he was being charged. “There may be chances and incidents of double charges due to machines in two lanes reading FASTtag simultaneously. But this case is different as there was no scope to read my FASTag in a Maharashtra toll plaza on the said date,” Prashant said.
“But this happened at a faraway place in Maharashtra and money was deducted four times, raising concern. I have immediately contacted the project director of Pune NH, Maharashtra, and brought the issue to his notice. I have taken the photographs of the car and uploaded them along with the receipt numbers,” He added.
He wanted to raise this complaint so that others do not face the same issue that he is facing. His FASTag was issued by ICICI bank. He has also reported the issue to the bank and they have promised action regarding this. A National Highway Official has said that Prashant’s case will be addressed by the central monitor cell of the NH in Delhi and the matter will be investigated.