After the transport department increased the minimum reserve price of fancy vehicle numbers across Punjab, the demand for these numbers has gone down significantly in the district.
This, in a sharp contrast to the Punjabi penchant for buying "VIP numbers" wherein people pay hefty amounts to buy such numbers.
Even as there were many bidders during an online auction of fancy numbers at the district transport office (DTO) from May 28 to June 3, not many people actually bought these citing high reserve price.
Though the district transport office had put 300 numbers for sale during the online auction, only 50 numbers were purchased while the rest remained unsold.
The transport office had increased the minimum reserved price keeping in view the craze for these numbers but the results have proved otherwise.
Bidders for 0001 registration number had to shell out minimum Rs 5 lakh instead of earlier Rs 50,000. One has to pay at least Rs 2.5 lakh instead of Rs 10,000 for "0002 to 0009" series.
Similarly, the reserve price for "0010" to "0099" series has been hiked to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 3,000.
Officials at the district transport office said this was the second auction of fancy numbers which did not attract many buyers. The department earned only Rs 17.21 from the bidding process.
In an auction in April, the department has earned around Rs 16 lakh.
Chander Shekhar, a businessman from Milap Chowk, bid for the much-sought after "0001" series at Rs 5.02 lakh, the highest bid in Jalandhar, for his Mercedes Benz car.
The number was PB-08-CK-0001.
The second highest bid was for PB-08-CK-0036 at Rs 1 lakh by Kulwant Singh of Kartarpur village for his Toyota Fortuner while the third highest was for PB-08-CK-0081 at Rs 1 lakh.
The "0002-0009" series, however, failed to get even a single buyer this time.
District transport officer Paramjeet Singh said though the auction did not get much response this time due to high reserve prices, the department managed to earn substantial amount from the online auction. Last year, the department had earned 15.76 lakh.