The Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission, a unique land titling project to address the human needs of housing, healthcare and education among slum dwellers in the eastern state of Odisha is at an advanced stage of implementation.Initiated and implemented by the government of Odisha with active involvement by Tata Trusts, this first of a kind initiative in India, has potential to be a model for rejuvenation of life in slums which can be emulated elsewhere in India and abroad.It all started two years back when the Odisha government enacted the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act 2017, which provides slum dwellers with land rights. Along with this the government is ensuring that the slum area is converted into a liveable habitat. As per the Act the beneficiaries will get 30 square meters of land free of cost and for the rest they have to pay as per the benchmark price.The whole project is expected to be complete in three years.The Liveable Habitat Mission, a multi-stake holder programme was set up for effective implementation, community building and use of technology to improve socio economic conditions of slum dwellers.“The broader vision of the project is to transform slums into liveable habitat, into a habitat that you and I, from the middle class and upper middle class, could identify with. It comes with this vision and the vision itself is very admirable,” according to Shikha Srivastava, head, Urban Poverty Alleviation, The Tata Trusts.The Tata Trusts is the project management body of this mission along with the State government’s Housing & Urban Development arm.Odisha does not exclude any category of slums in 109 urban bodies. The Act says as on date of passing of the law, a person who is resident in that area will get the land rights and patta.Slum dwellers of five municipal corporations which include Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Berhampur are not entitled for patta but are covered under the mission.The Tata Trusts has developed the processes for effective implementation of the law and transforming these slums into liveable habitats.To ensure land rights for the beneficiaries, Tata Trusts has partnered with Omidyar Network, Cadasta Foundation and has roped in technical agencies like Spark, and Transerve for a drone survey.This is the first such programme where geo-spatial technology is being used for a large-scale mapping of slums through drones.As of now drone surveys have been carried out in 109 urban local bodies and the first lot of 2,500 pattas were given out in May last year when the Jaga (land) Mission was launched. In November another 10,000 people got pattas. The target is that by mid-2019 almost all slum households in these 109 urban local bodies will get their pattas. There are over 2,00,000 people living in Odisha’s 2,000 slums.Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata was present when the Jaga Mission was launched in May 2018 and he also witnessed the handing over of the pattas. Eminent architect Norman Foster was also present and reinforced his commitment to partner the project.Now the Norman Foster Foundation and Tata Trust are together making pilot projects under liveable habitat. Three slums each in three different topologies have been identified to start the prototype which will be completed by end of 2019. The first of those pilots has been started at a large slum in Konark called Nolia Sahi with 2,000 households.The pattas and work orders are being given under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana. While Norman Foster Foundation has been tasked with the master plan, Tata Trusts is providing technical support to the government to implement the mission.“So it is not that we are just giving them pattas and leaving them, that is why we said our vision is of liveable habitat. It looks at piped water supply, toilets, waste management, roads and electricity,” Ms. Srivastava said. Work is going on under the beneficiary-led construction. If someone is a slum dweller and she/he has already built some sort of a house the person can get construction subsidy under PMAY and can rebuild the house the way she/he wants.The money for the houses will come from both Central and State government. In addition the State government has sanctioned ₹100 crore for infrastructure development.“The biggest thing is that we need to empower communities and make development inclusive. People know everything. It is just we need to build on that community’s intelligence and knowledge and this law and the whole mission is looking at a very participatory process,” Ms. Srivastava said.“Our objective is to create prototypes that can be taken up for replication across the State and across the country,” she said.