Chandigarh: As if
the reputation of their city having the highest density of motor
vehicles in India was not enough, Chandigarh residents have
developed a fondness for splurging lakhs on VIP car registration
With one car owner spending Rs.10 lakh in May 2010 on the number
plate of his Toyota Fortuner SUV (priced at Rs.20 lakhs), the
numbers game in the union territory has literally been on a high.
The latest to join the bandwagon is disgraced former Haryana
director general of police (DGP) S.P.S. Rathore, who was convicted
December 2009 for molesting a teenaged girl, Ruchika Girotra, in
Panchkula town in August 1990.
Rathore has picked up the registration number CH01-AM-0001 for a
whopping Rs.905,001 for a new Mercedes car that he bought for his
wife, Abha Rathore.
The ex-DGP, who is currently on bail after spending nearly six
months in jail following his conviction, has bought a C-class
Mercedes for his lawyer wife, who fought his legal battles in
various courts in the case.
"My wife is the number one woman in this world. I have bought the
number for her," Rathore told reporters here Tuesday, his famous
The Registration and Licencing Authority (RLA) here ended up with
a revenue of Rs.75 lakh from the auction of VIP numbers for the
new series (CH01-AM-0001).
"I don't understand the craze for these VIP numbers and people
spending lakhs of rupees on them. For that kind of amount, one can
easily buy a luxury sedan," Abhishek Chadha, a final year student,
In recent years, the VIP number '0001' has gone for a price
ranging from Rs.70,000 to Rs.10 lakh.
Tuesday's auction for the numbers at the RLA office here went on
till 10 p.m. Over 800 people had bid for various numbers of their
choice, including VIP numbers. Even the number '0100' fetched
Rs.201,000 for the government.
"Earlier the VIP numbers used to be taken away by VIPs and
influential people. Now, anyone who has the money and craze can
bid. But the amount of money that people are spending on
registration numbers is unbelievable," an RLA official told IANS.
Chandigarh resident Narinder Singh Shergill is the first one in
the region to break the Rs.1 million barrier in May 2010 to get
the vehicle registration number of his choice, CH01-AC-0001.
The city has the distinction of having one of the highest
densities of motor vehicles in the country. For a population of
just over one million, there are nearly 650,000 registered motor
vehicles in the city.
Every year, three to four new series of registration numbers is
launched in Chandigarh.
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