There is a lot of misleading information being spread about the central circle in the Galaxy Plan ( called the Crown),the Master Plan,the purpose of Auroville etc.both inside and outside Auroville.Friends in Delhi have reported having received letters with such information.At the risk of repetition some of us have compiled the facts as we know them to help anyone who wants to verify what is being spread around.
In Auroville we must achieve human unity and spiritual growth before the township gets built. The material township must be the outer expression of the spiritual growth of the present residents.
The Mother made it clear in 1971 that there is no such division between spirituality and material life. She wanted disciplined workers to build her town. Please see below.
Q: To what extent does the building of Auroville depend on man’s acceptance of spirituality?
“The opposition between spirituality and material life, the division between the two, has no meaning for me, for in truth life and the spirit are one and it is in and by physical work that the highest spirit must manifest”. [19-04-1968]
“Auroville is in the construction stage and disciplined workers are needed.
Those who do not want or are not able to follow a discipline should not be here at present.
Good will, sincerity and discipline are indispensable qualities for those who want to be Aurovilians”. [23-04-1971]
Auroville could not even have started if “spiritual growth first” would have been a precondition. Spiritual growth and the growth of the township go hand-in-hand. There is no “first” and “after”. The township is meant to become a “laboratory of evolution”.
The statement “spiritual growth and human unity first” displays a culture of double standards. Persons who make these statements do so after theyhave comfortably settled in Auroville, when the houses in which they live and the roads leading to these houses have been built and after electricity, water and internet have been provided to them. To bring up the precondition of building the city only after one has been taken care of, is applying double standards. Essentially one says that now that we are comfortable, the door for others is closed. “Do not disturb us in our comfort” is the message.
The disciplined workers who the Mother had called for seem to have become undisciplined land lords with double standards and high levels of hypocrisy.
Auroville is meant to grow organically. No (detailed) plans must be prepared now. We shall see how Auroville unfolds.
The Mother appointed Roger Anger as the Architect of Auroville to prepare detailed plans. Please see message below.
“Now I have my overall plan, I am waiting for Roger to draw the detailed plans, for I had said from the beginning: “Roger will be the architect”, and I wrote to Roger”.
The Mother wanted the architects and engineers to stop discussing and questioning the town plans and instead help with the building of the town. Please see message below.
The Mother did not approve the Crown and therefore the Crown and the Crown road are not essential parts of the galaxy plan / master plan.
The Mother did not approve separately the individual components of the galaxy plan (Crown, radials, zones, sectors, lines of force). She approved the entire plan after having worked on it for three years with Roger. When she has approved the entire plan and asked Roger to work on the details, the question of the Mother approving individual plan components does not arise.
The Mother appointed Roger as the architect to prepare the detailed drawings.
The galaxy plan drawings of 1968, the master plan document prepared by the Residents Assembly and the Auroville Master Plan as notified by the Auroville Foundation all show the Crown with the Crown road as a perfect circle.
The galaxy concept and master plan are outdated and does not address today’s climate change issues.
In a note of 1965 that Roger had prepared for the Mother on the township he states the following about cars: “The reign of cars has conditioned the urbanism of the 20th century and continues to tyrannize it”. Please see Roger’s note below with Mother’s comment written in the margin. Clearly, the Mother and Roger were way ahead of their times.
Roger: “The mobility principle in Auroville must be defined right now. Shall we allow the presence of cars! Probably in just a few years India will know, same as Europe and the US, the major urban problem the automobile is. The reign of cars has conditioned the urbanism of the 20th century and continues to tyrannize it. Although outdated, and everybody knows it, still the automobile strives at its best to create hell inside the cities and kill the outskirts. Therefore, the option to follow is to forbid and suppress the usage of this means of transportation within the town – and replace it by another, more hygienic, less cumbersome and noisy, more aesthetical, maybe newer if possible”.
The Mother writes in the margin of the note:
“Small size electrically powered vehicles, capable of transporting about 200 Kg at a speed of 15 km/h”.
Plans for renewable energy were made and implemented already in the early years of Auroville.
Auroville pioneered grid-connected solar energy systems in 2012. These pioneering efforts contributed to the formulation of the solar energy policies in several states in the country.
Auroville has implemented the first two phases of a Smart Mini Grid with distributed solar energy generation and storage, smart metering and (remote) demand side management systems. Ministry of Power (National Smart Grid Mission) of the Government of India has endorsed the project.
The electricity master plan that was prepared in 2014 (on the basis of the Auroville Master Plan) is designed to integrate distributed renewable energy generation and storage systems.
There is nothing in the Auroville Master plan that prevents the Auroville township from becoming a sustainable township. It has already been demonstrated that interconnected systems of solar energy generation and storage can contribute to a sustainable energy future for Auroville.
It has also been demonstrated that e-cycles are a viable alternative to motorcycles and cars.
The problem is not with the township infrastructure plans but with the behaviour and lifestyle of the present Auroville residents, including the residents who question the master plan:
- Water consumption in Auroville is 400l per capita (source: the TDC). About five times the average per capita consumption in urban India and ten times the consumption in rural India.
- There are a few hundred private cars in Auroville and more than 1,500 motorcycles. These vehicles are used by persons who are fit to use a cycle or e-cycle.
- The response to global warming in Auroville has not been a change to a less energy intensive lifestyle but just the opposite. Per capita electricity consumption in Auroville increased by 109.9% in the period 2012-2013 to 2019-2020. The per capita electricity consumption increased by a whopping 70.7% in that period. Auroville increasingly became a lifestyle destination rather than a place for the change of life.
- Every year hundreds of Auroville residents travel abroad, mainly during the hot summer months. For a round trip to Europe the CO2 emission is 2.6t. For a round trip to the USA the number is 4.7t (average of travel to the USA east coast and west coast). Assuming that 300 persons travel to Europe and 300 persons to the USA every year, the annual footprint of these trips comes to 2,200t per annum. Auroville would need to install another 1.6 MW of solar PV systems to offset this emission. With the money spent on flight tickets every year accommodation for 45 youth or 900 kW of additional solar energy capacity can be built.
What does all of this say about the climate-consciousness of the present residents? Is the problem with the master plan or with the lifestyle of the present residents?
The Crown RoW (right of way) and other master plan RoWs occupy vast areas of land.
|Right of Way||Percentage of Master Plan land area|
|Outer Ring RoW||0.63%|
|12 radials + IZ loop + 1 link road||0.67%|
Can the stewards and custodians of the Auroville township land not even manage to keep 1.64% of the master plan area free from buildings and trees?
The Auroville Universal Township Master Plan is not binding on the Auroville Foundation and the Auroville residents who may develop Auroville as they wish.
The Auroville Master Plan was approved by the Ministry of HRD on 12thApril 2001 (letter No. F.27-3/2000-UU). The Auroville Master Plan was notified in the Government of India gazette on 16-08-2010.
For the realisation of the Auroville Master Plan funds have been raised (and are being raised) and land was purchased.
Under section 17(e) of the Auroville Foundation Act, the Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation has to ensure that Auroville is developed in accordance with the Master Plan.
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