Every now and then we get to hear about an extraordinary sum being paid just to get a VIP number plate. Usually, these numbers are for very expensive cars or bikes. But, Kanwaljit Walia is probably the first person who has changed this trend.
Chandigarh based Mr Walia is the owner of an established catering business. Buying VIP numbers has been a family tradition. His father, who was the President of Taxi Union, Punjab; too had a similar taste.
It all started when the local RTO introduced a new series for registering tourist vehicles. Being President of the Taxi Union in Punjab, Mr Walia’s father was given allotted two VIP numbers – PNZ 1 and CHZ 1. This is where the love for VIP numbers started.
Today, Mr Walia owns three cars, two Mercedes Benz sedans, and an SUV – Mitsubishi Pajero. All having VIP number 0001.
The auction which was conducted by RTO officials over the weekend, saw the participation of many rich people from Chandigarh, a city where citizens are known for their fancy cars and fancy number plates. The bidding was for any 4 digit numbers between ‘0001’ to ‘9999’ in the CH01BC series.
Mr Walia’s bid of Rs 8.1 lakh was the highest during the entire auction. Everyone was surprised when they got to know that the VIP number bought by Mr Walia is for his new Honda Activa, and not the new Triumph Thunderbird LT, which he had recently bought for his son.
Instead, for the Triumph he got the number ‘0011’ in the same CH01BC series, for a sum of Rs 2.02 lakhs. The total collection over bidding of VIP numbers stood at 77.71 lakh, far less than what was collected during the bidding of CH01AX series (Rs 98.7 lakhs).