July 24th, 2011
Econintersect: India's Tata Motors that had launched the Nano car for about $2,500 last year. Now the sister corporation Tata Steel is prototyping new homes that will sell for about $700 (€500). The ultra cheap homes are targeted primarily for rural areas of India, will be about 180 square feet and have a flat roof, which can be fitted with a solar panel (at extra cost) for the many millions of Indians that live off the grid. Construction time will take about seven days.
Follow up:From the Financial Chronicle:
Talking to reporters in Hyderabad on Friday, Sumitesh Das, Chief of Tata Steel’s Global Research Program, said, “The pilot for the 500 euros house is currently going on in West Bengal and we are going to roll out 30 more pilots this year. We will be rolling out these highly affordable homes by the year-end on a national scale.”
He said their homes are not going to look like steel godowns since they consist of significant non-steel component as well. Tata Steel is currently in talks with several agencies including the coir board and jute board for wall cladding and other interiors. They are also in talks with various state governments that are taking up housing programs for the economically weaker sections.
The Hindu reported that houses will be made in pre-fabricated, or ‘prefab’, format, under which the company will provide a kit consisting of roofs, doors, windows, etc, which can be erected or assembled. The house will last at least 20 years, according to the Jagran Post.
Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni.