Asia’s biggest electrical market — Bhagirath Palace located in the heart of Delhi close to lal Quila is one-stop favourite destination for the retailers to buy electrical equipment and accessories of any type. Visiting the allays of old Delhi’s electrical market, primarily settled in an early colonial time heritage building~ Begum Samru’s Palace — which hosts more than 2,000 out of around 5,000 shops in the market.
The palace was built by Begum Samru and was known by her name until it was brought by Seth Bahgirath Mal after which the palace got its new name — Bhagirath Palace.
One of the major landmarks in the history of palace is that it is famous for housing last mughal emperor Bahadur Shah after he was captured and arrested for alleged involvement in Mutiny of 1857.
Ravinder Kr Gupta, Honorary Secretary, Delhi Electrical Traders Association told that the market was opened in 1950 while the association was formed in 1956. He said at present there are 2,000 registered members in the association, while in market there are close to almost 5,000 shops.
The Bhagirath Palace market is also a hub of import and export trade in electrical equipment as it caters to the export demand from the markets particularly in neighbouring countries like Sri lanka, Pakistan, the Maldives, Bangladesh etc. Also while the products are send to almost all States apart from adjoining States of Delhi like UP, Haryana, Rajasthan etc.
Electrical lightening of all types, lambs and switches of various types, types of lightening equipment and electrical decoration used in parties, marriages and functions, wiring of all types and almost everything that comes within the ambit of being “electrical” equipment is available at this biggest wholesale market in Asia. “Even lightening equipments that are used in hospitals and Operation Theatres (OT’s) are available in the market,” said a dealer.
A trader said that transaction worth crore are made daily at the market and a huge economy is involved that sustain not only the traders but thousands of daily wage labourers who offload and load the bulk of material into and outside the shops. Also thousands of employees working in the shops and their families are dependent upon their livelihood on this market.
The State Bank of India situated in the Palace is popularly known a “Mini RBI” by the traders as transaction worth crore is made on daily basis and most of the traders have their accounts open in it, said the secretary of the Delhi Electrical Traders Association.
The Bhagirath Palace market is not only known for electrical equipments but also for largest wholesale market for medicines and surgical equipments in Asia. Almost 550-600 shops of medicines and surgical equipment throng the old palace occupying a separate corner and space in the Palace. The Palace once only famous for dealing in electrical equipment, since the market first develop as an electrical market since 1950 later on after 1985 it begins trade in medicines and surgical equipment.
All types of medicines, including those used in veterinary are available for wholesale in the market along with almost all type of surgical equipment. Ashish Grover, Secretary of Delhi Drugs Traders’ Association said product of about 200-250 drug companies are available in the market among which near about 20 are major big players like lupin, Cipla, Ranbaxy, Alcam etc.
“All types of drugs and medicines are sold but the major demand is of antibiotics in the market. The demand of various types of antibiotics also fluctuates depending upon the season and several other factors,” said Ashish. He said that at time when flu prevails different antibiotic is in demand while at other time other antibiotics.
Surgical equipments like scissors, saws, bone chisel, cannula, dilator, forceps, retractor, laser scalpel etc are available in the market for wholesale. Also medicines of all types including the like of painkillers, anti-histamines , antacids, Paracetamol , antibiotics, antiseptics etc are exported outside the nation and also to various States within.
A medicine dealer told that medicines of all types are available in the market and often the retailers and other dealers from southern and north-eastern part of nation visit the Bhagirath Palace on regular basis for buying and ordering the stock of medicines and equipments in bulk.
“From 3 decades we are dependent on this business. We are the experts in medicines and we can easily differentiate between the original and the duplicate drug just by seeing the wrapper,” said a dealer of medicine, who also told that business in medicine and surgical equipments amounts worth in Crore per day.