Auroville Foundation says township project to go ahead despite opposition

Residents of Auroville had earlier taken to the streets in protest against the project, stating that trees, bunds and community structures would have to be pulled down for it.

The Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation in Puducherry, has decided to expeditiously push for implementing the Auroville Township Master Plan despite opposition from the residents. The foundation, during a meeting of the office-bearers held recently, decided that the Master Township Project must be implemented at the earliest.

According to office bearers, at the meeting, which was held on January 18, it was also decided that regular talks and meetings with groups of residents will be held. The plan designed by the French architect Roger Anger, and approved by the head of the Auroville founder Mirra Alfassa — who is commonly referred to as ‘Mother’ — has faced stiff resistance from the residents and inmates who took to the streets in December, blocking main roads and highways, protesting against it. They opposed the project stating that trees, bunds and community structures would have to be pulled down for the project.

The foundation is of the opinion that the Master Plan has been in the public domain for the past three decades, and that the trees and other community structures which are now being held as the reason for the objection came up later. The planning of the new township is centred around what is known as the ‘Crown Road’ project, which will have 12 radial roads and a ring road.

The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had stalled the construction of the project at the Auroville Foundation following the unrest and protests by the residents. The verdict of the NGT is yet to come.

The governing board of the foundation had met the members of the resident groups and working groups of Auroville to break the ice and implement the plan at the earliest.

The Auroville Foundation also said that an international advisory council members of the foundation including Dena Merriam, Gabi Gillessen, Hashmukh P Rama and Michel Danino held discussions with the residents for the further growth and development of Auroville.

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