Water pump ki Gaadi

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Fri, Jul 13, 2007 — maverick

Jugaad cost around Rs. 40,000. They are known for having poor brakes and can not go beyond 40 kmh. They operate on diesel fuel and are just ordinary water pump sets converted into engine.

The brakes of these vehicles very often fail and one of the passengers jumps down and applies a manual wooden block as a brake. These vehicles do not have any vehicle registration plate as they are not registered with the Regional Transport Office (RTO). Hence, they end up not paying any road tax.


The spectacle of 30-40 people packed into an unwieldy vehicle ambling along in many parts of north India can be a slightly unnerving experience for city dwellers. The vehicle — if one could call it that—appears to defy most automotive design principles and virtually cocks a snook at passenger safety and comfort. But it has been serving the one purpose it was created for—cheap and accessible transport where none existed.

Suraj Bhan is one of the 15-odd fabricators of this vehicle in Todabhim in Dausa district of Rajasthan. Here it’s called the Jugaad, a name inspired, perhaps, by the concept that led to its creation. The Jugaad is made up of a wooden chassis, a locally made engine or a water pump-set attached to the wheels and the steering wheel of a discarded jeep or a truck. Bhan, a former electrician, sources engine parts from Agra and assembles them at his Todabhim workshop. “We sometimes even use a Mahindra engine if it’s going to be used for extra load,” he says. Bhan has been making and selling Jugaads for over 10 years now, and business has been good so far. The Jugaad needs very little maintenance and comes for Rs 65,000 a piece though Bhan says rising input costs have pushed prices up to nearly a lakh per unit now.

It is estimated that Todabhim alone produces up to 1,500 ‘Jugaads’ a year, which is only one of many such vehicles running across north India and Gujarat, produced by minimally qualified people like Bhan.

Source: Economic Times
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