Pune vehicle owners snap up VIP numbers
Undeterred by the hefty price tag that the special numbers come with, motorists are lapping them up
The city’s love affair with special or VIP number plates seems to be growing stronger with each passing year, in spite of the hefty prices that need to be paid for them.
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The number of motorists seeking attractive numbers has increased from 1,069 in 2004-05 to 14,720 in 2013-2014.
Pune Regional Transport Officer Jitendra Patil said, “Depending on the availability, we invite bids for attractive numbers.
Most of the motorists prefer 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. If a car owner wants a number that belongs to a two-wheeler series, then she or he is charged four times the original amount required to secure it.
Even though the charges for special numbers were doubled last year, motorists still went after them. We will soon be uploading a new series of VIP numbers, along with the date and time of the bidding at the RTO,” Patil said.
Sudhir Jagtap, an applicant seeking a special number for his vehicle, said, “All the vehicles in our family are numbered 5454. Each time we buy a new vehicle, we choose only this number. We are ready to pay extra for it. But I think the procedure to secure these numbers is lengthy and needs to be shifted online.”
Jignesh Mishra said, “When all the RTOs across the state get heavy revenue by issuing attractive numbers, then it is their responsibility to provide good facilities with updated technology at their respective offices. In this number game, the common man is often left confused and exploited by agents.”
No of car owners who paid extra for VIP nuumbers in 2013-14
Rs 82 lakh
Amount collected by the RTO in 2004-05 for issuance of attractive numbers
Rs 14.50 crore
Amount collected by the RTO for providing a similar service in 2013-2014