Monday, November 29, 1999

Vehicle number 0001 goes for Rs. 10 lakh in Chandigarh

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Chandigarh, May 16 (IANS) Paying nearly half the price of your car for its registration number? It sounds quite incredible but this has actually happened in this union territory.Driven by passion, Narinder Singh Shergill, a Punjab-based farmer, bid a whopping sum of Rs.10 lakh to get his favoured registration number 0001 for his new Toyota SUV Fortuner, which he had bought for nearly Rs.20 lakh.Shergill, who owns farms near Kharar and Kurali towns and is also into real estate business, had made highest bid for number CHO1-AC-0001 during the auction of new series of numbers at the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) office here Saturday.This was the highest-ever bid for 0001 as in the previous auctions, the number had fetched the highest price of Rs.550,000.'It was my dream to get 0001 number for my car and I am very happy that I have finally materialised it. I wanted to get this number at any cost and I had a budget of Rs.10 lakh for it,' a beaming Shergill said Sunday.Auction for 0001 started from Rs.25,000 with seven bidders. After reaching Rs.750,000 only two bidders were left in the race.In total, the RLA auctioned over 50 registration numbers, earning Rs.39.63 lakh. The second and third highest bids were for 0009 and 0003 that went for Rs.4.70 lakh and Rs.2.50 lakh respectively.However, Shergill's wife, a government school teacher, was quite reluctant and was not in favour of such a huge bid.'Though my wife was not in favour of this bid but I was very determined to get this number. I would have bid another Rs.25,000 to 50,000 for it. Now everybody is happy with my decision,' said Shergill, who lives here in Sector 33.A few months ago, Shergill's three acres of land, between Kurali and Kharar, were acquired by Punjab government at Rs.1 crore per acre.'We had huge ancestral land. In 1992, the Punjab government had acquired our over 10 acres of land in Kurali,' he said.

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