In the week leading up to the implementation of the Delhi government’s policy on odd and even numbered cars, the government’s e-auction for number plates saw a three-time increase. At least 156 people were willing to spend Rs 20,000 each on a registration number of their choice. Before this, the highest number of e-auctions in a week was 55.
Figures from the Delhi Transport Department show that in the 22nd and latest round of e-auctioning, 156 persons under the non-VIP category signed up and paid for registration numbers of their choice. The week before this saw 55 persons sign up for the same. The lowest was recorded in the opening week of August, with just nine applications.
“Most probably, the increase in the number of e-auctioned registration numbers last week was for those buying second cars so they have both odd and even numbered vehicles,” said a senior transport department official.
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“This e-auction facility was introduced in the capital this year, following Punjab’s example. It has not been introduced in several states but we decided to go ahead because it would be a form of revenue generation for the government. The facility is available online. It gives people a chance to submit a maximum of 10 numbers of their choice from which any one is electronically selected, depending on availability,” the official
E-auctions for VIP numbers like 0001, 0786 and 6666 began in January this year. Till date, 169 such numbers have been auctioned at an average price of over Rs 2 lakh each. It fetched the government approximately Rs 4.08 crore. In the non-VIP category, opened to citizens in August this year, 695 persons got their cars registered with numbers of their choice for a little over Rs 20,000.
Ordinarily, when one buys a car and gets it registered with the transport department, they get a randomly selected number. “Registration numbers are generated electronically in our computer database,” a transport department officer explained.
The process implies that there is a 50-50 split in odd and even numbered cars. As per government records, the total number of vehicles registered in Delhi till date is 90,26,928. Of these, about 30 lakh are light motor vehicles, which means the policy will affect 15 lakh cars on a daily basis.