Make your own otla!

Rubbles and broken stones are everywhere around the city of Bhuj and are really difficult to remove and evacuate...
But instead of looking at them as a problem, why not seeing them as a solution!!?
Hunnarshala foundation have been exploring ways to use these debris in construction and have already made a kitchen and a few houses! (Read an article on recycled debris house here  )

As part of the “Bhuj Green City”  started by Bhuj Bole Chhe recently, and with the help of Hunnarshala, we have adapted this system to make Otlas. They are creative benches that can be made anywhere at a minimal cost, without skilled labour, only using rubbles and construction wastes!

To make an otla in your neighbourhood call the BBC team :  95 372 333 66  or contac us.
It is Free!!

Here is how it works :

Equipment required (provided by BBC) :

  • Formwork
  • Trowels
  • Gamelo
  • Pavda

Material ( provided by the area)

  • 3/4th cement bag
  • 25 gamelo of sand
  • Rubles of all sizes

Optionnal :

  • broken / old tiles

Process :

1. Set the form-work : make sure it is horizontal, if necessary, use small stones to make it straight. And make sure the angles are 90 degrees, using the steal angle.



2. Apply a mix of half oil / half diesel with a cloth on the sides of the otla


3. Gather the rubbles. You will need all sizes to make the otla.


4. Mix the cement and the sand (25 Gamelos for 3/4th of a cement bag) mix well with a Pavda


5. Spray some water on the floor inside the otla


6. Spread about 2 inches of the mortar at the bottom


7. Place the first layer of stones in the otla : big stones on the side, small in the center. Put the flat side of the stones toward the walls of the form-work (NB : do not pile the stones, keep a thickness of only one stone on the whole surface.)


8. Option : if you have some broken tiles, you can place them on the side of the walls to give a smoother finish.


9. Take some mortar in the Gamelo and mix it with water to make it liquid, then pour the mix, especially on the sides of the form-work


10. Once all the gaps are filled, spread around 1 inch of mortar to prepare for the second layer.


11. Place the stones of the second layer (see point 7)


12. Mix the mortar in the gamelo with water and poor on the sides. In the center, pour plain sand (this will save some cement... and money!!)


13. Spread another layer of mortar (1 inch) and continue the process till the form-work is full. Keep around half an inch of space above the last layer and fill with mortar till the top.


14. Use a flat stick or board to level the top of the mortar.


15. Finishing options for the TOP :

  • A. Plaster : apply a thin layer of cement and water mix (without sand)
  • B. Tiles : place the tiles on the mortar to see how they can be arranged. Once you have decided the disposition, apply a thin layer of cement and water mix (without sand) below each piece of tile
  • C.  Mozaic, broken tiles : apply a thin layer of cement and water mix (without sand) and place the tile pieces randomly



16. After 1 hour, you can remove the form-work


17. Finishing options for the SIDES of the otla:

  • A. Plaster : Apply a thin layer of cement and water mix (without sand)
  • B. Apply some lime wash (lime + resine + water) with a brush, for a white finish
  • C. Tiles
  • D. Mozaic of tiles (see above)
  • E. Leave it as it is! The beauty of recycled material!

And before everything.. Spend a good time with your friends and family!!


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