With Rs 17 lakh, one can purchase six new Maruti Alto cars or a luxury SUV like Ford Endeavour. But Jagjit Singh Chahal preferred a single- digit fancy number instead.
Obsession for fancy registration numbers for vehicles hit an unprecedented high in Chandigarh on Friday, when the city-based businessman and owner of Chahal Tyres Private Limited shelled out Rs 17 lakh to purchase CH-01-AN-0001 in the new series, the highest ever amount paid to purchase a registration number in the history of Chandigarh.
The auction was conducted by Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh.
Chahal took the new number for his brand new Land Cruiser, a super luxury SUV, variant of which are available at prices in the range of Rs 85-99 lakh, approximately.
Craze to buy fancy numbers in Chandigarh has been catching fancy of the city residents and surrounding states since the past few years. The car owners have paid unbelievably high amounts for fancy numbers, especially in the last few auctions.
Former Haryana director general of Police (DGP) SPS Rathore, who remained in the news for his involvement in the infamous Ruchika Gehrotra molestation case, had offered bid of Rs 10 lakh for registration number CH-01-AM-0001, on April 24, this year.
Earlier, during auction of numbers of CH-01-AK series, a Punjab-based agriculturist had offered bid of Rs 7 lakh to purchase number '0007', bearing resemblance to the code word given to fictitious British spy James Bond.
Talking to HT, Chahal, who originally hails from Romana Chak village in district Amritsar, said that he owned a fleet of 10 luxurious cars, including Hyundai Terracon, Toyota Fortuner and Honda CRV, all with registration number '0001' of different series.
"Today's amount is the highest ever I have paid for this number. Till today, the highest amount was Rs 4.70 lakh, which I had paid to get '0001' for my new Hyundai Terracon. The number was purchased from Ludhiana registration authorities.
If one goes by his claims, he also owns around 10 motorcycles, all with registration number 1000 in different series. "Boys working in my firm use these bikes for official purposes," said Chahal, whose mobile number is also ends with 00001. "I could have spent even Rs 20 lakh to purchase this number," he added. Phew!