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Brajendra K Parashar, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, July 11, 2013
People may no longer need to grease the palm of the regional transport office staff or get the right source to buy a ‘VIP/lucky’ registration number for their new vehicle. The transport department has decided to evolve a system wherein one will be able to make online advance booking of the desired registration number from one’s computer sitting in home or office.

“Once a person books the desired number for his vehicle, he can be rest assured of getting it on making payment for the number when his turn comes,” transport commissioner Rajnish Gupta told the Hindustan Times adding, “We intend to start the online booking system in next two-three months.”

He said the present system of issuing the VIP number, characterized into four categories, was not transparent and sometimes led to corrupt practices.

“Sometimes, the staff also gets into a fix when two equally important personalities make recommendation for the same number for two different persons,” he pointed out and claimed that the introduction of online system would do way with all these hurdles bringing in transparency into the system.

However, prior to putting into place the system of online booking system, the transport department has rationalized the existing four categories of lucky number by deleting certain numbers which were not in demand and bringing in certain other numbers like 1100, 1800, 2500 and so on.

The fresh list will, nevertheless, continue to have four categories of most sought-after registration numbers as very attractive registration number like 0001, 2222, 3300 and 786, very important registration numbers like 0090, 00300, and 7007, attractive registration number like 0011, 0444, and 7786 and important registration numbers like 0018, 1717, and 2323.

The price of these numbers will also continue to be the same-- that is Rs. 15000, Rs. 7500, Rs. 6000 and Rs. 3000, respectively.

“We have rationalized categories after we found there are several numbers which have been put into the category of salable numbers but there are hardly any takers. Similarly, there are certain type of numbers which are issued free of cost despite being much in demand,” the transport commissioner pointed out.

“Importantly, immediately before starting the online booking system, each RTO/ARTOC office will compulsorily display the available and already booked/sold registration numbers, on their display board,” Gupta said. The orders in this regard, he said, would be issued in a day or two.

The department had set up a two-member committee to study the issues related to the issuance of VIP/lucky numbers.

The committee, among other things, found that the craze for buying desired registration numbers was largely in the affluent Western UP while there were not many buyers in the Eastern UP.