Alang bazaar beckons buyers with bargains
The vessels that come the shipyard at Alang, Gujarat, bring with them the wealth of steel for the ship breakers. What they also bring are fabulous bargains for shoppers at the Great Alang Bazaar, reports Prasad Nichenametla.india Updated: Aug 23, 2009 23:45 IST
The vessels that come the shipyard at Alang, Gujarat, bring with them the wealth of steel for the ship breakers. What they also bring are fabulous bargains for shoppers at the Great Alang Bazaar.
From furniture and gizmos, to white goods and engineering goods, the range of products used on ships, available at dirt-cheap prices at the bazaar, is eclectic.
Along the seven-kilometre road that leads to the port town, 250 kilometres south of Ahmedabad, are a row of tents peddling everything from ship motors, to refrigerators, lifeboats to silver cutlery.
"The ship owners don't have the time to evaluate the real value of these articles. So, the ships come with all accessories intact, including some very high-end ones. These are collected by the shops and sold at lower than the market price," said Nikhil Gupta, joint secretary, Ship Recycling Industries Association.
In his mid-40s, Vasant Panchal, an engineering goods workshop owner from Vadodara, has been visiting the bazaar for many years now.
"Last year, I bought a torque wrench here for about Rs 3,500, which would have cost me Rs 50,000 in the in open market. Apart from great deals, I get to see the latest in technology every time I come here," he said.
At one time, most of the articles in the bazaar were sold on the basis of weight, but over the years, as the shopkeepers became savvy, they began pushing up the prices.
"People from as far as Delhi come looking for bargains," said Asif Rafiq, 20, owner of a shop that sells telescopes.
Most of business establishments in Bhavnagar use furniture bought from Alang bazaar.
"Except the two boys serving here, I've procured everything - from the freezers to the furniture - from there, at cheap prices," says Chotu Bhai, 30, who runs a tea stall on the Bhavnagar-Alang road.