17 Jul 2011

Cheap housing being developed by Tata group

8:22 am on 17 July 2011

The Tata group in India says it will launch cheap housing that can be built within a week for 32,000 rupees (500 euro).

According to the PTI news agency, the group said the pre-fabricated houses would help the rural poor buy a home.

Prototypes are already being tested with a view to launch by next year.

The company is in discussion with state governments, the agency said.

''Basic model of 20 sq metres, with flat roof will cost around 500 euros (32,000 rupees),'' Tata Steel research head Sumitesh Das is quoted by the Press Trust of India news agency as saying.

''It is (a) quick house built in seven days if you have a patch of land,'' he said.

The company is also creating plans for slightly larger and more expensive houses, with facilities such as solar panels, according to the Times of India newspaper.

The BBC reports that millions of homes are needed in rural areas.

The company says it is in discussion with state governments and village councils, but plans are at an early stage.

Tata previously launched the world's cheapest car, the Nano, in 2009.