Mayapuri: A biography of scrap

Touted as Asia’s largest scrap market, Mayapuri is definitely the India’s largest. Labyrinth of pavements and roads encroached with greasy machine parts are a common sight as soon as you enter the market. Hammering, loud buzzing of welding machines and the continuous sound of metal clunking when thrown at each other are discerning characteristics of Mayapuri.

Rusted vehicles and parts lie around a scrap workshop. In 1975, the scrap dealers from Motia Khan were shifted to Mayapuri, which had no facilities.
A man on his way to drop off the heavy pieces of scrapped vehicles using a crane. Cranes are commonly used inside the market to move around the heavy machinery, even for a short distance.
Workers dismantle machine parts inside a workshop. Scrap dealers in Mayapuri buy the vehicles from auctions done by different departments and dismantle them to keep and sell the usable parts.
A young acrobat walks through a muddy street of the market. Dealers are not equipped to carry out the daily scrapping process ultimately contaminating both soil and air.
Smoke billows from the waste burning on a street. Car seats, wires and other waste are burned in the open after usable parts are separated from the machines.
India’s major share of old vehicles are scrapped in Mayapuri but it still remains underdeveloped due to the lack of infrastructure.

Watch the short film which explores the complexities of work and processes that Mayapuri is. Produced and edited by me, camerawork by Saumya Khandelwal:

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