In a significant development, the Transport Department of the state has announced the expansion of online bidding for VIP numbers of vehicles in all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs). Initially launched as a trial project in Shimla-Baijnath, the Fancy Portal has now proven successful, prompting its implementation across all RTOs starting from Monday. This move aims to streamline the process and enhance convenience for individuals seeking special vehicle numbers.

To participate in the bidding process through the Fancy Portal, interested individuals will be required to pay 30 percent of the base price of the desired VIP number in advance. The base price serves as a reference point for the bidding process. For instance, if a number has a base price of Rs 1 lakh, bidders will need to deposit Rs 33,000 before engaging in the bidding process. Even if the bidding escalates up to one crore rupees, the initial amount of Rs 33,000 will be retained by the system.

Transport department officials have clarified that if the first bidder fails to pay for the desired number during the auction, the deposited amount of Rs.33,000 will not be refunded to them. Instead, it will be directed to the government treasury. Anupam Kashyap, Director of the Transport Department, elaborated that the revised e-auction system now allows applicants to register online throughout the week, from Monday to Saturday, to participate in the bidding process for their preferred vehicle numbers on the departmental portal.

For registration, applicants will need to deposit a non-refundable fee of Rs 2,000. The results of the bidding will be automatically declared online on Sunday, post 5 pm. It is mandatory for registered applicants to deposit 30 percent of the fixed base price as an advance amount for the special vehicle numbers they intend to bid on. Should the first bidder fail to secure the desired number for any reason, the 30 percent advance amount will be transferred to the government treasury, prompting the department to initiate a re-bidding process for that particular number.

The expansion of online bidding for VIP vehicle numbers is a significant step towards digitizing and modernizing the Transport Department’s operations. The revised e-auction system aims to improve accessibility, transparency, and efficiency in acquiring special vehicle numbers. Individuals seeking unique and exclusive number plates for their vehicles will now have a simplified and streamlined process to participate in online auctions, minimizing physical visits and ensuring a fair and accountable system.

As the new system becomes operational across all RTOs, it is anticipated to ease the burden on transport department officials and enhance the overall experience for bidders. The move reflects the government’s commitment to embracing digital transformation and leveraging technology to provide convenient services to the citizens of the state.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.