Crown Road – Update
The ‘ATDC’ illegaly appointed by the Secretary’s office announced that the Crown Road work will restart with a stretch of the Crown inaccessible until the end of December 2022. Since 29th November, teams of road workers have restarted dismantling the existing road. To allow traffic flow to continue, cycle paths have been widened in several places to now allow for motorised vehicles. Children are now forced to share the narrow pathways with motorised vehicles. There are no proper signs on display along the road to indicate safe detours or speed limits, which are the norm during roadworks or construction such as this.
The road has been completely removed in sections along the Sante-Solar Kitchen stretch .
There appears to be a lack of clarity about the legality of cutting trees to make way for the Crown Road. The report by the Joint Committee only considers the Darkali stretch, and is still under deliberation. According to the markings, some of the service trees planted between Solar Kitchen and Santé are in danger of being cut down. The bonafide Working Committe reached out to the relevant authorities to notify them of the need for an environmental assessment before the road works continues. They have been assured that tree cutting is not permitted and therefore ask community members to notify them immediately if any trees are cut along the Crown.
The RA appointed TDC has also posted an announcement in which they note that the work is:
– still in contravention of the RAD to ‘Pause all work on the Crown’
– does not incorporate any elements of the community-led Dreamweaving initiative
– endangers existing trees by ignoring their root protection area
– endangers a project done only 2 years ago, in collaboration with the TDC, to plant new trees along the Crown.
Their original email and its attachments:
A long-term Aurovilian knowledgeable about land assets of Auroville, noted on Auronet (Aurovilel intranet) that by prematurely pushing ahead with the Crown construction, the illegaly appointed ‘ATDC’ is putting GOI-funded assets onto private lands. Currently, only one stretch of the Crown is leased by the Foundation, while other stretches are not in Auroville’s possession, or owned by Friend of Auroville. This situation could potentially lead to private developments inside the Auroville City Area, as the proximity to the Crown Road increases the area’s value for tourism-related businesses.