For over a year, Pitchandikulam stewards and the Land Board have been dealing with a dispute over the road access of newly purchased private property owned within the Master plan area near Pitchandikulam forest.
Although there is an alternative access point that is a shorter route through Auropark (on the main road), the private landowner prefers the access through forested Auroville land and has chosen to go to the police multiple times and harass Auroville groups and stewards in order to obtain access.
On Wednesday 23rd March, this dispute escalated after the Secretary of the AV Foundation allegedly gave the private landowner verbal permission that he could have access to his land via Auroville. Written confirmation of this claim was asked for by the Land Board members, however, none was produced.
The private landowner hired a JCB and over 40 young men from Pondicherry and the surrounding villages to destroy the locked gate on Auroville property. They then entered the community to intimidate and harass the residents.
The Working Committee and Land Board have requested the Secretary to take immediate action and file a criminal complaint for threats, trespass, and destruction of property. Reportedly when asked, the Secretary replied that she wouldn’t interfere unless Aurovilians would help her ‘build the city’.