FASTag, a sticker that is attached to be attached on the windshield of cars from inside, became mandatory for all the vehicles across the country since December this year. The Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) enabled via the barcode and is linked with the registration details of your vehicle. The information is stored in the barcode itself. This FASTag helps reduce traffic congestion at the toll plaza. But this FASTag has served as a boon for a Mahindra Scorpio owner of Pune whose SUV got stolen.
Pune Police were able to find the lost vehicle in a mere five hours with the help of police in Thane when they used the FASTag toll deduction alerts and GPS tracking. According to a report, Pune-based builder Rajendra Jagtap had purchased a Mahindra Scorpio in August this year. Following the government norms, the SUV owner got the FASTag on his SUV. On December 23, Jagtap received two FASTag toll deduction alerts: one of Rs 35 at 4:38 am from Talegaon toll booth and the other at 5:50 am from Panvel (on Pune-Mumbai highway) for the same amount (Rs 35).
The report said when Jagtap received the first FASTag toll deduction, he was asleep but when he received the second alert, he was awake. He rushed outside of his house to find his Mahindra Scorpio missing. Jagtap along with his son rushed to Pune's Warje Malwadi police station to report the loss of his vehicle, but they were directed to the Karve Nagar police chowki. At Karve Nagar Police Chowkey's Constable Govind Pandhare spotted the lost Mahindra Scorpio SUV tracking its location using GPS and FASTag readings. Constable Pandhare found out the vehicle somewhere near Thane city of Maharashtra, close to Mumbai.
The police official contacted his friend at the Mumbra Police Station and informed him about the exact location of the Scorpio. Soon the Pune Control room informed all the Thane police personnel on duty were alerted about the lost Mahindra SUV. With the help of the Kasarvadavali police, the cops were able to locate the stolen Mahindra Scorpio near Hiranandani Estate alongside Ghodbhandar road in Thane around 8 am, the report said. The miscreants who stole the Mahindra Scorpio from Pune fled the scene. The recovered vehicle was towed back to Pune to its rightful owner. The hunt for the thieves is underway.
In October this year, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles from December onwards. However, there have been extensions of this deadline since. The December 1 deadline was shifted to December 15, and now it is January 15, 2020. The idea is to have all private and commercial vehicles equipped with this contactless payment system for paying the necessary road usage charge at toll plazas on national highways (NH) across India.