Yesterday Tata Motors unveiled its Nano car – costing less than Rs 3 lakh initially, but with a promise of just Rs 1 lakh $2,000) for the basic model, the car is the cheapest in the world. The first bookings will be taken in 2 weeks, with cars rolled out by July.
The tiny car (which reminds me a little of the French Twingo model) comes 101 years after Ford’s Model T, and takes the philanthropic business giant Tata from truckmaker to cute runabout-make in one fell swoop.
The problem is, of course, the number of cars this promises for India’s roads. The population here is soaring – it’s more than 1 billion now and and expected to double by the end of the century. So many people driving cars is hideous for the environment and for road safety. Already the streets are clogged with 2-wheelers spewing filth. Roads are poor and there are few pavements or traffic control measures. Although in Kochi they are introducing a pedestrian crossing for the first time – take a look at this article about it with associated diagram!