Since December 26th clearing of a large area inside the Matrimandir fence is being done. [see event]
The legitimate Town Developement Council has adressed a letter to the Matrimandir excecutives.
To Matrimandir executives, Ms. Divya Karun and Mr. Alain Grandcolas
In the past days we have seen that you are clearing a large area inside the MM fence. According to information we have received, this is to clear rubble from the area of the future / planned Matrimandir lake. We would like to make you aware of a few points. While we have been assured that no further clearing of trees will be undertaken and that Divya Karun will personally ensure that the clearing is done without damage to trees, this does not seem to be the case, and it appears that an even larger area has now been cleared of nearly all the trees.
1 To the best of our knowledge, no permissions that follow due process have been given for any projects or clearing in the Matrimandir area. The lake does not have permission from either the planning authority of Auroville, nor has it gone through the valid and agreed RA process for permission. Whereas there have in fact been many rounds of discussion on the subject of the test pond and lake with relevant Auroville experts who have given their inputs and the requirements that would need to be met, the environmental impact as a main concern needs detailed,independent and transparent assessments to be done on all the relevant issues. Furthermore there are very pertinent and pressing issues such as where the dug out soil will be stored. These are a few of the serious concerns that have been repeatedly raised by experts that have been consulted and would wish to find a sustainable and integrated solution. We therefore want to make you aware that, by continuing on the lake and any clearing work in the area of the lake, beyond the completion of the test pond, is a serious deviation from the accepted norms . as there has been no building application, consultation process, let alone permission given for the construction of the lake. It has always been policy, for all projects, that prior to receiving an NOC no clearing of the site is permitted. In the case of the Matrimandir Gardens, efforts have been made to engage different experts and the community in the designs. Such exercises are indispensable for the healthy realisation of any major and sensitive development work.
2 In the ruling of the NGT dt. 28th April 2022 it states that till, proper township plans have been prepared and environmental clearance given, we are directed by the court, not to proceed in the project area with any further construction. (see excerpt of judgement below). Clearing and removal of trees, and proceeding with excavation works, is explicitly going against the judgement of the NGT and we therefore urge you to stop all such activities immediately.
We invite you to take this time of pause to redevelop trust, transparency and togetherness for an appropriate development of the city the earth needs. That will always be the fastest and truest way.
L’avenir d’Auroville – TDC Town Development Council
Allan B, Anan, Dorle, Divya L, Fabian, Island, Lata, Meera N, Natasha S, Tom G
Dr. J. Ravi, Secretary Auroville Foundation