VISAKHAPATNAM:Gone are the times when you tried to influence Transport department officials or jostled among the crowd to get your lucky number as the registration number of your vehicle. Now bid for your favourite fancy number online, for the State government has decided to introduce e-auction for allocation of fancy registration numbers.
The craze for fancy numbers, especially single digit numbers, has been on the rise in the state, but the government couldn’t capitalise on the demand as VIPs, especially politicians and business honchos were influencing officials to allot their favourite numbers. Inspired by the success story of states which introduced e-auction for allotment of fancy numbers, the state government is considering introduction of online auction.
Earlier, the craze of fancy numbers was limited to the upper strata of the society. However, there has been a drastic change in the scenario during recent years with more people lining up for fancy numbers. The authorities at Road Transport Authority expressed confidence that the move to introduce e-auction will fetch good returns.
At present, the auction of fancy numbers is being conducted by the Road Transport Officer (RTO) and Deputy Transport Commissioner in the district every day from 10.30 am to 1 pm. The officials list out the fancy numbers available for the day and ask the aspirants to quote their price. The fancy numbers are allotted to the highest bidder on the same day itself. According to the sources from the Transport Commissionerate, Hyderabad, the government is of the view that there is a huge potential which will contribute to the government exchequer.
“As of now politicians and VIPs including top officials are influencing the transport department officials to get fancy numbers either for free or at a nominal price. Introduction of e-auction will help to bring transparency in the allotment of numbers and earn more revenue for the government. It may be noted that the Chief Minister has ordered all top officials to tap all resources to improve revenue. We have identified a huge potential in terms of revenue by auctioning fancy numbers online,” a senior official at Transport Commissionerate told Express.
It is not just the desire for fancy numbers that encourage people to spend huge amount for fancy numbers. The trend is backed by the belief in lucky numbers triggered by numerological notions. Some numerology pundits are advising their clients to select numbers that favour their star signs. Falling prey to superstitions, a large number of vehicle owners are postponing the registration of their vehicles to get their lucky number. There are cases where people waited for even three weeks to get their lucky numbers, said Prasanna Kumar a RTA broker. Earlier, the craze was mainly for number 9, followed number 7. However, now there is a big demand for all fancy numbers like 1111, 2222, 3333, 4444, 5555, 6666 and 8888.
“Recently a person tried to get the number 9 but failed to get it in the auction. However, he managed to get the number 9000 spending a very nominal amount. Considering this situation, the government has decided to draft a common policy across the state by introducing online auction of fancy numbers. Already we are working on a draft plan. Once, the fancy number registrations go online, there will be transparency in bidding and vehicle owners will be able to bid competitively,” the transport official added.