Applications for special numbers registered a 10% drop at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Pune during 2013-14, though the income from allotting these numbers recorded a rise. The state transport department had almost doubled the fees for special numbers in May 2013.RTO officials received 14,720 applications during 2013-14 as compared to 16,360 applications in the previous fiscal, registering a drop of 1,640 applications. There was an addition of Rs 3.50 crore for the RTO in 2013-14 as against previous fiscal.The transport department had launched the scheme in 2004-05. In the last five years, the applications had gone up almost three times.
The state transport department had almost doubled the fee for special numbers in May 2013 citing a rise in demand. For example, a two-wheeler owner is expected to pay Rs 50,000 for special number 1 instead of Rs 25,000 for the current series and Rs 1.5 lakh instead of Rs 75,000 lakh for jumping the series. Fees were revised for vehicles of all categories including cars, bikes and transport vehicles, officials at the RTO said.They said last year alone, nine vehicle owners paid a special fee of Rs 4 lakh each for an attractive number and as many as 106 vehicle owners paid Rs 1.5 lakh each to get a special number for their vehicles. As many as two car owners paid Rs 3 lakh each and five owners paid Rs 1 lakh each for special numbers, they added. There was also an enthusiast who paid Rs 12 lakh to get 1 on the number plate for his four-wheeler, which was an out-of-series number.
Sources in the market said apart from politicians, businessmen and film personalities, the demand for special numbers has come from youngsters as well. The RTO has listed more than 300 such numbers under the special category obtained by paying additional fees to RTO. The RTO earned Rs 14.80 crore in 2013-14 from fees charged for special numbers. Last year, the revenue stood at Rs 11.34 crore.