The VIP digit's days are numbered!

there are numbers, and there are numbers. some numbers, however, are more equal than others... we’re talking about the ‘very important’ numbers quoted by the cars of very important persons (vips). so far so good. only, the abbreviation v-i-p also stands for very important problem. more so after the december 13 attack on parliament. not surprisingly, the transport department of the delhi government has decided to restrict the use —rather the misuse —of coveted numbers adorning the registration plates of vehicles. informs delhi transport minister ajay maken, ‘‘the entire process of allotting fancy (read vip) numbers for dignitaries is being reviewed and streamlined. the department has been asked to take a fresh look at the entire process as a lot of loopholes have been detected in the procedure of allocating these numbers.’’ for those who haven’t figured out the digits which count, here’s a ready reckoner: single-digit numbers are top of the tops; next in line are figures made up of two, three and four of a kind. besides, any number ending with a zero is a hero. elaborates maken, ‘‘in a series of 9999 numbers, 136 numbers have been pinpointed as being most sought after. these may be in single digits (1 to 9), double digits and repeated digits (11, 222, 3333). these may even be a single number followed by zeros like 10, 200, 1000.’’ says joint cp, traffic, maxwell pereira, ‘‘certain norms need to be followed while allocating vip numbers, otherwise it would create problems for effective traffic management. sometimes, dl1s and dlir — which are essentially two-wheeler and three-wheeler numbers — are allocated to cars, thereby adding to the confusion.’’ officially speaking, the word ‘dignitary’, according to maken, covers ‘‘elected representatives, bureaucrats, members of the judiciary, prominent businessmen and artistes.’’ unofficially speaking, the capital has more self-appointed dignitaries that numbers can count. or, as maken puts it, ‘‘more often than not, senior police officers request the transport department for fancy numbers for their personal cars. in order to bring about transparency in this regard, we now display in our offices the allocated fancy numbers, the names of the allottees and those who have recommended them.’’ adds a senior transport official, ‘‘it is true that in some cases, vip numbers are being allocated to those who are not dignitaries. but now irregularities are being detected and the entire process is being reviewed.’’ for the transport department, it’s time to bring the numbers game to a screeching halt with its own version of one two ka four. in other words, numbers which count will only be allotted to dignitaries who count. yes, it’s all about figuring out things!

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