Frustrations of online payments

Editor,
It is seen that payment of toll at toll gates through use of FasTag is being made compulsory from December 1, 2019. Here, I would like to share my experience regarding  FASTag. In June this year I had gone to Guwahati and was pleasantly surprised when at the Toll Plaza at Pahammawlien I was allowed to pass, without payment of toll. The toll collector told me that the amount has been debited from my FASTag A/C. But, to my consternation, the same FasTag didn’t work when I returned a few days later. They checked with a machine and told me the FasTag was inoperative although sufficient balance was there in the A/c. Another thing which I noticed was that an amount of Rs.105 was debited from my FasTag A/c during my journey to Guwahati, against the standard Rs.65 for the type of vehicle I was driving. Till date I could not get any explanation for this, leave alone get any refund. Also, no one could explain why the machine indicated that the Fastag A/C was found to be defective.
Now, to my chagrin, I find that I cannot recharge my FasTag issued by HDFC because the FASTag website and the MyFASTag App don’t have any link with SBI, from which I would like to pay the recharge amount.
Thus, these online payments are sometimes very painful and we must be prepared to face IT snags with some calmness.
Yours etc.
S Ahmed
Shillong-1

Extend FasTag date

Editor,

The Hon’ble Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced an innovative toll collection system through RFID FasTags and applicable effective December 1, 2019. While one appreciates the effort to undergo a rapid change through toll pass over system with the advent of RFID tags, the Ministry should otherwise ease the registration process and extend the timeline beyond December 1 to adhere to FasTag enabled RFID vehicle.

Presently the banks and payment gateways like PayTm accept the applications for RFID/FasTag with relevant necessary vehicle and owner related documents. The account registered is then linked to the bank account of the respective vehicle owners- through which a system of auto-debit at toll plazas is enabled through RFID sensors affixed to the vehicle. The delivery of FasTags further takes some time owing to manual registration process. Hence the deadline of December 1 is too short to obtain a physical RFID sticker. Also if online verification process through Adhaar registration if enabled will otherwise ease the RFID FasTag sign-up process and then obtain sticker delivery at a convenient time.

As petrol pumps have wider access/reach to the vehicle owners especially on highways, the Ministry should instead tie-up with Oil and Petroleum companies to issue RFID FasTags through their authorised dealers and thus ensure seamless and quicker disbursement of RFID tags to the vehicle owners.

Yours etc.,

Varun Dambal

Bangalore

Maharashtra’s flip-flop politics

Editor,

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, a seasoned politician has stuck to his guns even in the face of his nephew deserting him and joining hands with the BJP in government formation. On the contrary, Ajit Pawar, a maniac for power and a manipulator par excellence with glib talk rolling off his tongue could manage to take oath as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra through much machination and manipulation though for a very short period by making bogus claims that all the 53 NCP MLAs were with him.

That was an unexpected blow to Sharad Pawar who on the other hand had discussed with his alliance partners Shiv Sena and Congress on the government formation formula the previous day. However, in a strategic move, Sharad Pawar could win back all of his MLAs from the clutches of his nephew, Ajit Pawar. Thus, the dirty drama played by political parties has left the political milieu in Maharashtra highly polluted and corrupted.

In a poignant outpouring, Uddhav Thackeray said, “I had never dreamed of leading the state. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi and others … Parties with different ideologies have come together. Those who were friends for 30 years did not trust us. But those against whom we fought for 30 years have trusted me.” Hitting out at his former saffron ally for its hatred towards his party, Thackeray said, “Whenever there was a necessity, they sought the Sena’s support, but they did not hesitate to abandon us when they had no need for us.”

In another development, Devendra Fadnavis said, “Ajit Pawar came to me and said I am resigning because of personal reasons.” Thus, the three day long ministry under Fadnavis collapsed creating another political stage with many old deadwoods who tasted the perks of office earlier to form the government. Let us wait and watch eagerly how things are going to shape up there.

Yours etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Via email

A great discovery

 Editor,

 A 3000-year-old city, believed to be the remains of Alexander the Great, has been discovered in a joint excavation by archaeological experts from Pakistan and Italy in northwest Pakistan. Experts say that it is the city of Bazeera that they have discovered and this is a region, located in the Khyber Pakhtunkwa province, which already made into the headlines earlier for its rich connection and bounty of human history of a civilization five thousand years old.

The discovery at Bazeera has traces of Hindu Temples and Life of Alexander the great and life even before that pin-pointing to the historic richness of the place which definitely, if properly and diligently researched can reveal unravelled facts of the great history of our Indian subcontinent and facts specially linked to Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam before Alexander’s invasion. The UNESCO should directly monitor the work done in the site and must cooperate with the Pakistan government to monitor and see that damage is not caused by extremists or vandalists.

Indian archeologists also must join the excavation as studies related to the site can truly help students of history and will be beneficial to the coming generations to know about our rich past.

Yours etc.,

M Pradyu, Kannur

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