TDC letter to Dr Seetharaman

Jul 13, 2022 | Land Matters, Planning & development, Processes by-passed

Dear Dr. G. Seetharaman,

The allegations made by you on 12th July of residents obstructing so-called ‘government works’ are not based on the reality of what took place, or the relevant legal frameworks. As members of the Town Development Council (TDC) selected and authorised by the Residents’ Assembly, Natasha Storey and Dorie Heller were present and asking for the work order, or any agreements or contract to show that the work being carried out was prescribed by the correct authority to execute the work and its scope. These were strangers with a JCB claiming to be contracted to build a road on Auroville property. How are we to assume the validity without a work order, proof of contract or proper accounting & governance. They repeated simple, straight forward requests that have been made in writing without any response from you or the Foundation Office Secretariat.

As Residents we have a right, even a duty, to object and challenge such activities which are not authorised, and ultimately undermine our collective work in service to the Charter. Moreover, we would like to remind you of the Resolution of the Residents’ Assembly directing all bodies of the Foundation to pause work on the Crown, Ring and Radials, until appropriate plans and preparations have been made by it and agreed upon by the same.

We would also like to remind you that the NGT passed a judgement on the 28th April 2021, in which it constituted a Joint Committee that would submit a report on the Crown area stipulating the forward development of the crown road, which the Foundation is then bound to follow. This stretch of land is not simply clear of any trees, trees previously present were removed without following basic environmental practice (enshrined in law) or due processes and this should not be repeated. It is very concerning, and clearly contempt of court, that clearance and the removal of trees in Bliss forest was resumed on 13/07 /22 at the request of you and those claiming to constitute the Town Development Council.

As you are aware, this stretch of land is under litigation and it would ease the tension in the community if you would be patient enough for this to be first settled and plans can be drawn up by the right authority assigned to do this task. This would truly serve, and even accelerate the physical manifestation of the City. We attach our recent report to the Governing Board, expressing our intent, advice and areas of concern as TDC.

We strongly object to the unauthorised use of TDC letterheads, as your group has not been selected or appointed to the working group of the Residents’ Assembly. We are writing on behalf of residents, members of representative groups of the Residents’ Assembly and volunteers who deeply care for Auroville, and will continue to do so. We are protecting Auroville, and asserting the right to build the city the earth needs in a collaborative and humane manner.

Sincerely and in Service,
Allan Bennett, Anan Skoles, Dorie Heller, Divya Lieser, Fabian Ostner, Island Lescure, Lata Iyer, Meera Natarajan, Natasha Storey, Tom Gablier

and on behalf of
Aurore Mabilat, Deeptendu Sarkar, Divya Kapoor


View the official letter