Hard-to-find vehiclespare parts sold here

An informal market in Shivajinagar specialises in discontinued, old and rare vehicle components.

The street, near Russell Market, is lined with shops selling spares taken from old and discarded vehicles. (Right) Child workers are common.

Tucked away in bustling Shivajinagar is a thriving market for automobile spare parts—genuine ones, ‘first and second copies,’ and stolen.

Customers find almost any spare part for two-wheelers and cars here, and the convenience means they ask no questions.

Located a short distance from MG Road, Shivajinagar is a major commercial and transport hub. A big landmark here is the St Mary’s Cathedral, situated diagonally opposite the bus stand, facing Russell Market.

A two-minute walk into the bylane next to the cathedral takes you to Chandni Chowk Road. Incidentally, the original Chandni Chowk in Delhi is famous for stolen goods!

The shops are concentrated in a small area filled with old vehicles, and parts displayed outside. The shops look similar: tiny sheds with goods displayed everywhere, even on the roof.

Source unknown

The shopkeepers are non-committal when you ask where they get their supplies from.

“We source some parts from Delhi and Mumbai through our own network. We also have our own links in various parts of the city and buy seized vehicles auctioned off by police stations,” says a shop owner who calls himself Nayaz.

A two-wheeler owner who frequents the bazaar says it is an open secret that the shops will get a part for you, ‘by hook or by crook,’ if it’s not in stock.

“Vehicles in parking lots in the vicinity are vulnerable. I have seen young boys bring in stolen parts and haggle with the shopkeepers over the price,” he says.

 

What do they sell?

Everything, from engines of discontinued models to modified silencers, not legally allowed.

The price depends on the demand and availability of the part.

Nawaz had the bore and piston of Yamaha RX100, a bike whose production was discontinued decades ago. He asked for Rs 9,000, saying it was a rare part.

 

Cash transactions only

With the exception of some shopkeepers who accept online payments, most shops only accept cash. They give no bills. If you ask for a bill, they laugh and say they can give you one but it is not valid or legal.

“Most products sold here are old,” says Abdul, another shopkeeper. “So these parts have no official warranty or guarantee. But we can assure you that they will serve your purpose.”

 

Child labour rampant

Perhaps more shocking than the sale of stolen goods is the number of children employed. This reporter saw five children in different shops, well below the legal age of working. Shopkeepers were not ready to talk about who these children were.

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