The Delhi government's plan to put a rate tag to fancy car registration numbers has hit a roadblock. Now, it has to invite suggestions and objections from the public and accommodate them in the new policy before start allotting the numbers through an electronic bidding system.
On Thursday, the transport department issued a notification, inviting suggestions from the public.
According to a transport department official, the government is supposed to amend the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules to put any such policy in place. Before making the amendment, the government should invite suggestions from the public.
The transport department overlooked this statutory requirement. It was the Lieutenant-Governor's office that pointed out the mistake when the department sent the file for L-G's concurrence and notification.
The transport department of Chandigarh has been auctioning numbers for the past few years, while there is a fixed price tag attached to fancy numbers in states such as Haryana, Punjab and Goa.
According to the policy cleared by the Delhi Cabinet on July 30 this year, fancy car registration numbers have been put in five categories and a base price has been decided. The transport department will announce the registration numbers, which will be put up for sale at the starting of each fortnight. Those interested will have to bid and the person bidding the highest amount during the 14-day bidding process will eventually get the number.
The bidding for the number 0001 will start at R5 lakh, for numbers 0002 to 0009 it will be available at a base price of R3 lakh, double digit numbers (0010 to 0098) and 0786 at R2 lakh, and three-digit and sequential numbers at R1 lakh each. Any other number, not mentioned in the four categories, will be allotted at the base price of R20,000.
The department, however, has made the provision of allotting two fancy numbers every five years for private vehicles of Union ministers, MPs, Delhi MLAs, judges of the Supreme Court and high court, IAS and Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services officers.
Senior transport department officials accept that some members of the public have already disapproved the policy of giving free numbers to politicians, judges and bureaucrats and are likely to send formal objection too.