Nayapalli In Situ Slum Upgrading

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This project, which began in 2010, involves the upgrading of housing and infrastructure in Nayapalli. The Alliance of SPARC-NSDF-Mahila Milan has been a part of planning and designing the in-situ upgrading of houses and infrastructure under the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in three settlements – Dumduma, Nayapalli Sabar Sahi and Bharatpur in Bhubaneswar, Orissa since 2009.

Location: Nayapalli, Bhubaneshwar, India


The incremental upgrade of housing and infrastructure. The layout plan has been completed by the Urban Development Resource Centre (UDRC). Some of the houses have been constructed, however no infrastructure has been provided. The initial drawings done by the Municipality have been revised by the Alliance as they neglected plot conditions and family priorities. The houses to be constructed are twenty-five square metres (25m2) each.

Over the course of two (2) years most of the houses had been constructed or were under construction. The second phase of the project saw work on a community centre and the development of sustainable technical solutions for infrastructure begin. This includes sustainable small-scale solutions for water, sewerage, solid waste, electricity, energy, roads, drainage, garbage disposal, and urban agriculture systems.  

Community capacity:

The Alliance conducted a thorough evaluation of the households in the settlement to check their ability to construct their own houses by raising the start up capital, and only the families that did not have the capacity to construct their own houses were taken up by the Alliance. The community was engaged in the process of selecting the housing typologies and two-and three-story buildings were proposed as a result of these discussions. 


The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) has been involved in toilet and housing construction for about two decades, which has ensured that scaling up has not only happened in numerical terms, but also in geographical and policy terms. To date (up to July 2010), under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) sanitation project all three hundred and sixty-one (361) toilet blocks have been constructed; under the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP) Phase II, twenty-nine (29) toilet blocks have been completed and 53 sites have started the construction work. 

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) project in Bhubaneswar is the second upgrading strategy. However, the upgrading has started on a relatively large scale with seven hundred and fifty (750) houses across three settlements coming under the project, with hundreds more being affected by the related improvements to infrastructure.


Under the MSDP II and Nirmal MMR Abhiyan, hundreds of thousands of slum dwellers will be provided with hygienic and accessible sanitation facilities while the JNNURM project in Bhubaneswar will ensure a better standard of living in Nayapalli through properly planned and constructed upgrades to houses and infrastructure. The shift in local and regional policy now lets communities take charge of their infrastructure by building community administered toilet blocks and is a vindication of the Alliance’s approach towards sanitation for the urban poor.

The JNNURM project in Bhubaneswar is also a further reflection of how the Alliance’s approach of investigating formalised upgrading for slum settlements, by providing proper planning, infrastructure and financial frameworks, is being accepted by Governments and positively affecting the way that authorities look at slums and redevelopment.


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$440,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

This project has seen continued collaboration between the Indian Alliance and ASF-Sweden. Masters students have also been working with SPARC and UDRC on this and similar projects. Relationships have grown with local professionals through project activity. UDRC continues to work on water and sewerage provision. 

The Alliance has been able to utilise its reputation and experience to mobilise communities to save for a ten percent (10%) contribution to the JNNURM upgrading scheme.

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was monetary and this was recovered by the Alliance during different phases of the construction process. 

Costs recovered from community:


Sheela Patel (+91) 22 238 650 53 View Website
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Project information updated: 11 March 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

This is one of several slum redevelopment projects done in Odisha through a partnership of Architecture sans Frontières (ASF) Sweden and the Indian Alliance of The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), Mahila Milan and the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF). Collaboration was centred around knowledge and experience sharing on how to implement affordable housing and urban design strategies. Focus was put on developing action plans for upgrading. Projects were approached within the context of a steadily increasing urban population with poor access to adequate housing, water, sanitation and social security in slums.
ASF-Sweden has been involved in slum upgrading in India since 2010, contributing to area layout, house drawings and methods for participatory planning. Particular attention was paid to Odisha, working with SPARC’s partner Urban and Development Resource Centre (UDRC). Collaboration focused on supporting the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) scheme, introduced in 2010, aiming to have a ‘slum free India.’ This falls under the Government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) which aims to modernize India’s cities. RAY schemes allow local authorities to dictate the course of upgrading depending on contextual factors and emphasise the involvement of residents.
This project started in Nayapalli, in Bhubaneswar. ASF participated in the project from September to November 2010 and then again from January to February 2014, continuing earlier activity. Nayapalli was originally part of a larger farming area. As Bhubaneswar grew there was increasingly a lack of space for the settlement’s community, compounded by families getting bigger. Residents have lived there across generations and thus have proof of land ownership. Despite this, houses are in poor condition and are at risk due to flooding and monsoon winds. This project supported UDRC’s in situ upgrading programme which started several years earlier.


The intention is to incrementally upgrade houses and infrastructure in Nayapalli. Two housing typologies were decided upon for the area:

  • Simple Type I: Ground structures
  • Duplex Type II: Ground plus one floor
  • Duplex Type III

There have been discussions about implementation of water and sewerage infrastructure (connecting these to the municipal system) as well as building roads in Nayapalli. The plan is to build both communal and individual toilets. 

The community centre was planned by the community to be multi-purpose and include a kitchen, playground, space for meetings, education and community office, space for a small medical centre as well as a public toilet and bath.

Community capacity:

For several years, all construction work undertaken by the Alliance in the area of housing and sanitation has also created livelihoods to communities. Individuals interested in the construction process are taken on as community contractors for SPARC’s construction projects. Communities also choose caretakers to take care of the toilets, resolve issues amongst themselves. In the case of housing upgrading, communities are also skilled on issues of design, costs and feasibility.

Community involvement in design and construction means beneficiaries can be responsible for maintenance of facilities, houses, and infrastructure.  Additionally, learning processes from the project are shared with civil society and learning institutions. 


JNNURM is a Central Government scheme was launched by the Government of India under Ministry of Urban Development (MUD)as an initiative to redevelop the urban towns and cities by developing infrastructure, municipal reforms and providing aid to the State Governments and the Urban Local Bodies, in order to develop urban India. The project is centred on ensuring that Government investment in slum upgrading is used to maximum effect inculcating new co-production modalities of pro-poor urban development within the state. The success of this project will increase the likelihood that further Government finance will be provided so that the project can be replicated.


The intention is that the project is seen as a learning opportunity by all parties, particularly in light of the fact that the local authorities have very little experience of working with non-government organisations (NGO) and community-based organisations (CBO). Through the interaction between these groups, municipal officials are sensitised to the circumstances and needs of the poor. It is also hoped that such experiences will result in policy shifts that promote partnerships between municipalities and communities through their respective NGO and/or CBO. 

It is part of the Alliance's ongoing effort,  in light of their field experiences, to convince the Government of India to spend more money on providing basic amenities like water & sanitation universally instead of benefitting a miniscule percentage of the urban poor by giving them formal housing. Policy discussions in this regard are ongoing.


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$440,000.00. A significant portion of this amount (US$360,000.00) went towards capital expenditure. 

Resources Leveraged:

The project mobilises and leverages a range of resources, and as many resources as possible, from Government, the private sector and the families directly benefiting from the project. These resources include, but are not limited to, land, infrastructure, technical (professional) assistance and finance. 

Costs recovered from community:

When built, the community centre will be multi- purpose and funds can be raised through hiring out the meeting space. This money will go towards the maintenance of the facility and be utilised for other projects. It bears mentioning that since this project is subsidised, there are no need costs to be recovered from the community. The costs will be recovered from the relevant Government entity at various stages of the construction process. 

ASF-Sweden. (2014). Experiences from India - A Collaboration between ASF-Sweden and SPARC. [Online]. Available:
Lobo, M. & Mahila Milan. (2015). Improved Sanitation Improves Half a Million Lives in Pune, India. [Online]. Available:
Patel, S. & SPARC. (2015). The 20-year Sanitation Partnership of Mumbai and the Indian Alliance, Environment and Urbanisation, 27(1): 1 - 18. [Online]. Available:
Sawant, A. (n.d.). In-situ 'Slum' Rehabilitation Project, Bhubaneswar, India. [Online]. Available:
SPARC. (n.d.). SPARC Profile. [Online]. Available:
SPARC. (2012). Inclusive Urban Planning and Slum Rehabilitation: A Reflection on BSUP and Lessons for RAY. [Online]. Available:
SPARC, NSDF, Mahila Milan. (2010). Citywatch India April 2010 - March 2011. [Online]. Available:

Funding Information



Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners


Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC)

National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and Mahila Milan