March 14th, 2023

Mar 14, 2023

A ‘miscellaneous petition’ was heard at the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The court order, posted on the following weekend, notes the concern of the applications that the AVFO “is cutting trees even outside the stretch of crown road work/beyond the recommendation of the Joint Committee.” The counsel appearing for the AVFO subsequently states that the AVFO will not go beyond what is recommended in the Joint Committee report, to which the court notes that “the said statement is recorded.”

The main points are:
– The Miscellaneous Application (MA) asked the NGT to give a stay/interim relief on tree cutting on the Crown because the Joint Committee (JC) didn’t inspect and survey the whole Crown area and therefore their report was incomplete.
– Although the original order allowed Crown Road work to continue without cutting any trees or in areas where there are no trees, the NGT acknowledged the concern of the 2 residents that trees are being cut outside the Crown Road areas and beyond the recommendation of the Joint Committee of the NGT.
– It was officially put on record by the NGT that a lawyer for the Auroville Foundation (represented by the Secretary) stated that no work would happen in violation of the Joint Committee’s report.
– In summary, in this first hearing the NGT has clearly reminded the AVFO to respect the original ruling and the existing Joint Committee report, so only the marked and listed trees within the designated 9.1m in Darkali can be cut.
– A next hearing is scheduled for the 5th of April to decide whether or not to reconvene the Joint Committee and order them to complete the survey of trees and water bodies on the planned Crown trajectory.