70-yr-old creates jeep costing Rs 30,000

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Ujjain, MP, Oct 5 (UNI) A 70-year-old automobile engineer residing here has claimed to have created a four-wheeler cheaper than the proposed Rs 1 lakh Tata Nano -- a small jeep that would cost about Rs 30,000, run 40 km on a litre of petrol, seat two adults plus as many kids and move at a maximum of 50 km per hour.

Indraprakash Bhargav's creation was cobbled together using material that cost Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. He has to his credit minor inventions relating to automobiles but laments that neither the government nor others paid any attention to them.

''If a company goes in for commercial production then the cost will be between Rs 30,000-Rs 35,000. India has a colossal number of lower middle-class people and each one of them dreams of owning a car,'' Mr Bhargav, who exhibited his vehicle recently, told UNI.

He is working on a technique to make the jeep battery-operated so that the cost per km drops to Re 0.25. Mr Bhargav is yet to patent his jeep but is willing to divulge its secrets for free if Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata or some other industrialist evinces interest.

UNI PKJ-AC RJ CS1618

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