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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Assembled vehicle Jugaads (aka Maruthas) of North India

This is a fairly old post that was published in my photoblog (now dead) after our July 2008 north India trip. Republishing now, to reach out to wider range of audience. You know about assembled computers-know have a look at these assembled vehicles, which I found in hundreds in UP/Haryana region. Initially I didn't know the names of these vehicles, but thanks to Indiamike users and other readers, I figured out that they're called Jugaads (aka Maruthas)

Jugaads are made by local mechanics, using spare parts of other vehicles. Engine could be from a Mahindra Jeep, a tractor, a van or even a generator. Other than engine there's nothing much. Basic control like steering wheel, levers and pedals. No cover for engines, no instrument panel. Lighting and decorations are done as per the taste and requirements of the designer/buyer
Jugaad found in Punjab/Haryana Border

First time when I saw this, I thought some local mechanic might be experimenting with this makeshift vehicle, but during next 2 days, I saw hundreds of them. Seems quite popular and visibly cheap-couldn’t have cost more than a lakh per vehicle. (And you thought TATA NANO is pretty cheap-I’m sure given enough support these guys can make even cheaper car) None of the vehicles have any sort of registration details on them. There’s no proper protection to engine, which braves everything from dust, air, rain and sun. Rear view mirror, turn indicators, Airbag, seat belt, ABS- try explaining them all these...

Jugaad found in Delhi-Agra road!

Clearly, this is very much an unorganized business, but with no proper branding, license, permits and such things that bother any legitimate enterprise. Whoever is behind this, must be pretty genius and could have taken up this initiative on a large scale adhering to applicable guidelines. (May be he’ll lose the cost advantage if he starts following rules and regulations) Law enforcement agencies seem to have turned a blind eye towards these unauthorized vehicles on road. Though our driver Ajay told these vehicles are found only in villages and on highways, where policing is pretty low, we did notice them almost everywhere in Punjab, Haryana and Agra.

A side view:
Assembled vehicles of North india!
One of these jugaads was also featured in the movie Shakti, starring SRK and Aishwarya Rai.

Just wondering if someone has thought about CNG version...

7 comments :

Sankara Subramanian C said...

Nice! I saw a lot of them similar looking ones, but with one front wheel and having bullet engines in Gujarat. 25 ppl used to sit on such a vehicle and it used to chug along admirably.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, saw a few Bullet powered ones in Surat... Couldn't take proper pics...

Mridula said...

Never managed to take a picture till date! Nice to look at your's.

sandeep varma said...

Interesting read Shri, If you go to rural India you will see lots of examples of these, where ppl find new uses for a existing product or they alter the product so that they can use, some times wonder best brains are living in rural India?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Mridula

Sandeep,
yes, most of the talent lies untapped in rural community

Trails of a Traveler said...

Very curious ones. Though unauthorised the mechanics definitely know the trade. It would good if the govt acknowledges such talents and bring the best out of them..

Ram

Shrinidhi Hande said...

You're correct Ram