Auroville Land exchange
The Auroville Foundation Office, in collaboration with the Land Board (LB), has proceeded to exchange a plot of land adjacent to the Djaima community (at the corner near the police station) for a piece of land in the City Centre (near Sanjana). Residents of Djaima were informed of the exchange by email after the fact. Since the removal of Renu and Padmanabhan, the Land Board now appears to be fully under the supervision of the AVFO.
This land exchange does not appear to be following the due diligence protocol that was put in place at the request of the former GB, its chairman (Dr Karan Singh) and the previous secretary Mr Chunkath. This protocol was put in place due the financial losses incurred from previous land exchanges. The steps for exchanges are: an empanelled evaluator creates a report to verify the price; a legal opinion is sought on the exchange; the exchange is published in the local newspaper; as well as other formal authorizations. It is concerning that Auroville land is being exchanged without following due diligence and without the approval of the RA.
The TDC, WC and the FAMC of the RA invited the LB to a joint meeting on Aug 25th. After initially agreeing to attend, the LB ultimately declined the request.