Tata Launches Low Cost Water Filter

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

India’s giant Tata Group on Monday unveiled a new low-cost water purifier, hoping to do for health what it did for motoring and provide affordable, safe drinking water for millions and cut disease.

The Tata Swach _ named after the Hindi for “clean’’ _ is designed to be used in poor, rural households that have no electricity or running water, using ash from rice milling to filter out bacteria.

The device, which will cost less than 1,000 rupees (21.5 dollars), also uses tiny silver particles to kill harmful germs that can lead to potentially deadly water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid.

Other cheap purification units are on the market, but Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata _ who this year launched the world’s cheapest car the Nano _ said it was “probably the most low-cost water filter’’ available.

The project, welcomed by charities working in improving water and sanitation, is another example of the way in which private firms in India are helping provide basic services previously under government control.

The salt to luxury cars conglomerate has unveiled plans for low-cost social housing and runs a range of social projects in areas like health, education and energy.

Source: Bangkok Post (link opens in a new window)