Do you fancy a fancy number for your fancy car? If feelers coming from the transport department are anything to go by, you may soon be able to get the registration number of your choice, helping you achieve a 'VIP status'.
Delhi transport department is working on a policy to make fancy or ‘VIP’ registration numbers available to the common man. But you may have to shell out a good sum to get the number of your choice.
A senior transport department official said the department has already started a scheme to allot such numbers for private vehicles of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) . The department will allot one fancy number for a vehicle registered in the 'VIP's' name once in five years.
"We are now trying to formulate a policy on the numbers that can be given to a private vehicle and how a common man can get those numbers," a senior transport department official said, requesting anonymity since he's not authorised to talk to the media.
"We are studying the policy in the other states and will accordingly submit a plan to the government," he added.
There's currently a ban on the allotment of fancy vehicle registration numbers like single digit numbers (0001 to 0009), double-digit numbers (0010-0099), numbers that end with two and three zeros (100-900 and 1000-9000) and same digit numbers (111-999 and 1111-9999) to the common man.
The allotment was discontinued about three years ago in the wake of the Chholegate scam when contractor of the Delhi assembly canteen Ashok Malhotra — arrested in a multi-crore land scam — was found owning a fleet of fancy cars with VIP registration number plates.
After the scam, the transport department issued VIP numbers to only official vehicles of ministers, MPs, MLAs and bureaucrats.
Senior transport department officials said the majority of visitors to the department's head office come in quest of fancy numbers for their vehicles.
"Most states either auction fancy numbers or have put a fixed price for them. It would be a good money spinner for the department," a senior transport department official said.
The transport department had formulated a similar proposal in early 2008 and had even finalised the rates for different categories of numbers. The plan was, however, shelved.
Apart from "selling" VIP numbers, the other option that the transport department had was to auction them, as is done in Chandigarh. But this, transport department sources said, is not feasible for Delhi where 900 cars are added to the roads every day.