October, 25th, 2022

Oct 25, 2022

Secretary demands Aurovilians to evacuate a residential asset

Dear all,

The community needs to be aware that the Office of the Secretary, Auroville Foundation is demanding the evacuation, by a family of long-time Aurovilians, of one Auroville housing asset within 2 weeks from mid-October.

This demand is being made without following any of our approved internal processes or any processes of natural justice, promises have been made and broken by the ATDC (appointed by the Governing Board) and the Foundation Office (AVFO), and therefore this action calls into question the security of any one of us living in any housing asset in Auroville.

Additionally, the AVFO cites the ‘Public Premises Act’, however Auroville housing assets do not fall under this Act as: 1) the housing assets are not government housing; 2) the occupants of the housing assets are not government employees. Furthermore, it must be noted that an eviction of an Aurovilian, from an Auroville housing asset, based on the Public Premises Act, would be illegal.

In the particular situation of the Aurovilians in Center Field (Elodie, Txuma and their son, Aris), other facts that cannot be ignored are:

a. Aurovilians being asked to relocate before any Detailed Development Plans (DDPs) for this area have been approved by the RA and EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) received, as per the NGT ruling.
b. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) 28 April 2022 judgement.
c. The Joint Committee, constituted by the courts in the 28th April 2022 judgement, did not review the entire scope of the planned Crown Road and did not come to Centre Field. The report is yet to be heard in the NGT.
d. Only the bathroom is on what is presently thought to be the Crown Right of Way, and the stewards themselves agreed to dismantle and move the bathroom.
e. Verbal promises by the AVFO have been made but not followed through; and many documented promises have been made and broken by the GB-appointed ATDC, including the promise that these stewards would not have to move, that they would be compensated for the bathroom to be rebuilt on the other side of the house, and more.
f. Auroville has a policy for evaluating assets, for ensuring fair exchange of assets, and for demolishing of assets. The current plan for the eviction of Elodie, Txuma and Aris, and for the demolition of their home does not comply with the agreed-upon existing policies in Auroville.

There has been a unilateral decision by the Secretariat of the Auroville Foundation and their appointed teams to proceed with the eviction of Elodie, Txuma and Aris from their home, and we disagree with this.

We are shocked by the refusal of the teams appointed by the Secretariat of the Auroville Foundation to adequately compensate Elodie and Txuma and their son, and their efforts to deprive them of their right to a home that is comparable to the present one. It is unfair and unjust to deprive Elodie, Txuma and Aris of their right to re-utilise the full amount of the price their current home is evaluated at, for a new home of their choice.

We disagree that any Aurovilian be asked to relocate without the equivalent of full compensation of the current evaluation of their present home or a new home of similar size and comfort.

Our intention is to inform the community that this is an act that must concern each and every one of us. We have observed and experienced that when a wrong action is met with our Aurovilian presence in quiet numbers, it can be stopped. Therefore, we request everyone to be personally concerned about this situation, and if called upon, to please show up in peaceful solidarity for us all.

FAMC selected by the Residents’ Assembly (Amy B., Bobby P., Danny, Mita R., Palani, Ranjith (TOS)
TDC selected by the Residents’ Assembly (Allan B., Anan, Divya L., Dorle, Fabian, Island, Lata, Meera N., Natasha S., Tom G.)
Working Committee selected by the Residents’ Assembly (Aravinda, Bharathy, Chali, Hemant, Maël, Sauro, Valli)