Tuesday, July 6, 2010

India's Tata group unveils two new variants of low-cost water purifiers

This could be interesting - continuous improvement of household water treatment technologies:

India's Tata group unveils two new variants of low-cost water purifiers

Excerpts from the article:

...Tata Group has just unveiled two new variants of its already existing low cost water purifiers - which does not use electricity or running water to operate - in a bid to supply clean drinking water for greater number of people, especially at the lower end of the economic bracket, at almost minimal cost.

Brand named Swach, which in Hindi means pure, the new water purifiers are priced at Rupees 749 (USD $16.6) and 499 and is to be available soon across the country.

Manufactured by Tata Chemicals, the water purifier uses nano-technology combined with natural ingredients, it delivers safe drinking water at a benchmark price of Re.1 a day for a family of five.

The older version of the water purifier, is priced under Indian Rupees 1,000 (USD $ 20)..

Swach, which is less than one metre tall, uses ash from rice milling to filter out bacteria, and also uses tiny silver particles to kill harmful germs that can lead to diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid.

Power shortage is a perennial problem across India, with the rural and villages facing outages for several hours each day.

The health consequences of poor water quality are enormous for developing countries like India, with millions of people affected.

“The product is a perfect confluence of technology and versatility and would make safe drinking water now accessible to far greater number of people across the country,” according to R. Mukundan, Tata Chemicals Managing Director.

“In December 2009 we launched Tata Swach as the first step towards providing clean and affordable drinking water to the common man. We had also resolved to offer variants at lower price-points and make this remarkable innovation available to a wider section of the society.

“We hope with the entry of this product, many more households will get access to safe drinking water,” the Hindu newspaper quoted him as saying.

Swach is selling around 20,000-25,000 units in (the states of) Maharashtra and Karnataka already, and with the product launched in the north (India) we are expecting to do better.

“We aim to sell over one million units of Swach water purifiers in the current fiscal (that ends in March 2011).We are also looking at expanding our manufacturing capacity by adding a production line probably at Haldia in West Bengal,” Mukundan added.

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