Go past the hustle and bustle of the vegetable bazaar in Poorna Market and one reaches a marketplace that is a whole world unto itself. While envisioning an automobile scrap market, one would expect it to be an enormous place filled to the brim with broken and rusted parts of vehicles. However, this market is quite the contrast. Though it definitely is huge, it is way better organized than one can ever imagine.
The bike scrap market situated in Gajulaveedi, Bowdara Road, is a 40-year-old marketplace comprising of 50 shops, employing about 2000 workers. The parts sold here are from old bikes bought through auctions from the RTO, accident vehicles from the police station, and even directly from owners. No matter what condition the bike is in, it is taken apart and the salvageable parts resold through an auction. As one walks in, one can see domes of various bikes standing guard before the shops.
Sunlight reflects off the bikes which are in different levels of disintegration. The sellers sit on chairs, waiting for customers to walk up, with vehicle shells, engines, tires and metal innards on display.
Another marketplace near it that works in a similar manner is the Janata Bazaar. Situated on the long stretch of road right across the 25,000-seater Indira Priyadarshini Stadium, this market caters only to cars. The 5-year-old marketplace has 72 shops supporting 500 families. Doors, steering wheels, shells of cars, lights, and engines are showcased here. While the market predominantly deals with old parts, at times new vehicle parts are found too, especially when it comes from a vehicle that’s been in an accident or if duplicate parts have come from Delhi.
While this was a thriving place before demonetisation, trade has been extremely slow since that day. Shopkeepers share their woes stating how business has been negligible as most transactions happen only in cash. “We’ve hardly earned anything since the day it was announced,” says F Rehman, owner of AJ Motors.
While the shops that line the street here are rented from the GVMC, the shopkeepers from Janata Bazaar and the Bike Bazaar want to have a place of their own. They have put in a petition to the GVMC to be allowed to buy 138 acres of land in Sabbavaram where an Autonagar can be developed. “Even though 138 acres will not be sufficient for us all, we’ll make do with a place we can call our own,” says Samad Khan, a scrap dealer. “We don’t even want a place for free, we want to own an Autonagar so all the scrap sellers, builders, tinkers, mechanics and more can work from one place,” he says.
With most of us accustomed to the luxury of shopping for vehicles in air conditioned showrooms, this is a place worthy of a visit – and if not for buying or selling a vehicle as scrap, one must come here to witness first-hand how an entire community exists and survives on this business alone.