Destruction continues: some work mandated by the foundation office has started in Gaia forest. They are allegedly creating a cycle path that does not appear on the master plan. Please read an article from an Auroville forester.
On Monday 13th February, the residents of Gaia were confronted with road works on both the front and back access path into the community without prior notice. When asked by a Gaia community member, the illegally appointed ATDC informed them by email that “most of the residences in what is called ‘Gaia’ fall in the ‘Mahalakshmi park’” and that “Residences, houses and or motorised traffic is not appropriate in city parks.” As recently as 2016, an NOC was given for a new house in Gaia following the Master Plan; at the time, there was no question that ‘most’ houses in Gaia would fall within the park. In an informal conversation an AVFO’s ‘ATDC’ member indicated that N. and P. and M.’s houses “will have to go”, but as no resident has been officially notified the details remain unclear.
The new cycle path is 2 meters wide, reduced by half a meter due to a newly added brick curb. Four-wheelers are now restricted “unless for a medical emergency”. Gaia Forest can no longer easily receive a fire truck in case of a forest fire, an eventuality that was planned for when the original roads were put in.
Additionally, 4-wheeler access is now effectively cut off to the back of CRIPA, the Frisbee Field, and the Ashwagandha Natural Horsemanship Centre, for which regular load carriers of horse feed and compost need access. Glenn, who has stewarded this area for many years, has written an article detailing the history of this area and his views on the work being done today. In the back area, the access to Gaia Forest (and thereby, residents’ houses), has been completely dug up and is currently unusable. Residents have also been informed that “fences between houses in the park area will be removed entirely or else reduced to the bare minimum”, while there is no clarity as of yet regarding measures planned to enclose the area.