VISAKHAPATNAM: It was a shocker from FASTag for a four-wheeler user in Visakhapatnam. R Prashant, executive engineer of R&B, was surprised and shocked when he received a message from FASTag stating Rs 75 was deducted towards toll charges for his vehicle AP03CR8106 at Tasawade Tollplaza in Maharashtra.Prashant initially thought it was an error and lodged a complaint from his registered mobile to 1033. What surprised him more was money was deducted from his account every time he raised a complaint. As advised by the tollfree complaint cell, he filed a complaint in the whatsapp number.Speaking to TNIE on Tuesday, Prashant said he was using the car from his residence at Muralinagar to office at Marripalem in Visakhapatnam for the last couple of months due to the curfew imposed in Andhra Pradesh from 1 pm to 6am in view of Covid.
He said he did not even go out of the area. Then how did he get the FASTag charges for toll plaza on Pune-Solapur highway in Maharashtra on Monday evening, he wondered. When contacted, the NH officials of Maharashtra said they will look into the matter as the whatsapp complaint cell will take up the case. Suspecting foul play, he also brought this to the notice of the airport police in Vizag. Prshant said he had taken the FASTag three years ago in Bangalore and has been using it since then. However, he has never faced such a problem before.
Prshant said he worked in the national highway department and he knew there may be chances of double charges at the toll plaza due to technical reasons. “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,” he said. “I have taken the photographs of the car and uploaded them along with the receipt numbers,” he said. Complaint numbers are 3835227, 3835367, 3835511 and 3835546. Prashant said he worked in the national highway department for nine years and came to Vizag on February 12 this year on deputation.
“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,” he said. He wanted to raise the complaints so that such incidents would not happen to others. He also brought the issue to the notice of ICICI bank, which issued the FASTag, and the bank promised action in that regard. Meanwhile, speaking to TNIE, a national highway official (Visakhapatnam)said the FASTag system was functioning smoothly and they achieved 80 to 90 per cent of the target.
Errors of double charges are occurring in three or five cases in a lakh transactions. The officials are rectifying the technical faults in the FASTag system, he clarified. Referring to complaints raised by Prshant, he said they will be addressed by the central monitor cell of the NH in Delhi and the issue will be investigated. He ruled out any foul play or mischief in that regard.