News & Notes 687: Land Protection – Announcement to the Community

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687 icon.jpg   News & Notes 687
18 February 2017



Land Protection – Announcement to the Community


Dear Community, in response to the recommendations made by the Core Group in their report of the outcome of the workshops, since no objections have been received from the community, the Working Committee, the Auroville Council and the TDC have formed a Land Protection Team to follow up on all the recommended lines of approach by supporting and harmonising all efforts related to Land protection. The aim is to bring updates on the work done, along with specific proposals for further action, to a Residents Assembly before the end of April.

At present this team consists of the following Core Group members who have renewed their commitment: Bertrand, Carel, Dorle, Mandakini, Martin L., Pashi, Paul Vincent, Peter A., Sauro, Shraddhavan and Suhasini.

Resource Persons: Toine has committed to continue acting as a Resource Person for the group working on Statutory land use protection with the Tamil Nadu Government.

Other Auroville residents who are willing to commit their energies to one or more of the work areas listed below are invited to send their contact details to the Working Committee on wcoffice(at)auroville.org in by 28-02-2017 mentioning the area(s) you are committing to work on.

AREAS OF WORK:

1) Tasks to be carried out within the Community:

a) The existing Master Plan needs to be supplemented with a Land Use Schedule and Detailed Development Plans based on inputs from the Community of Auroville and approved by the RA and the Governing Board.

  • The first step includes the finalisation of the Terms of Reference for the preparation of the Detailed Development Plans, and the selection of the new TDC. This work falls under the responsibility of the Auroville Council, and will soon we presented to the community for RA ratification.
  • Once the new TDC is selected and in place, the work includes preparation of Detailed Development Plans for each zone, the City Centre and the Green Belt. This work falls under the responsibility of the new l’Avenir d’Auroville / Town Development Council and Auroville residents are invited to contribute to the work.
  • Review and improve the Land Purchase Policy and strengthen the Land Board Team. A proposal will be made by the Land Protection Team, in consultation with the relevant groups, and brought to the community;

b) Accelerate land purchase, and support and work with the Land Fundraising teams, A4A and LFAU by stimulating new fundraising initiatives and improving communication and data-sharing with them from and to Auroville. This work presently falls under the responsibility of the Land Board and the FAMC.

c) Support the Working Committee with increased collaboration and improvement of relations with local authorities.

2) Options for an effective Statutory land-use mechanism to be explored further with the Tamil Nadu Government:

a) Creation of unique statutory land regulation frameworks for Auroville, tailor-made to the uniqueness of the project.

b) Revival of an Amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act that had been considered by the Government of Tamil Nadu committee in 2009 and to which Auroville had contributed.

c) Formation of a New Town Development Authority constituted for regulating land-use within the Master Plan area of Auroville (or a wider area) on the basis of the zoning regulation envisaged in the Auroville Master Plan (published in the gazette of the Government of India), and for promoting the aims and ideals given by the Mother for the development of Auroville.

General outcome and note to the community:

The general outcome of the workshops and studies was that it is the hour to bring about a real change in our internal policies and mind-sets to support growth and sharing and increase cooperation between Auroville and the local authorities.

It is important to note that the three key features as described above, (1.a) Preparation of Detailed Development Plans, (1.b) Land Purchase acceleration and, (2) a better statutory land-use regulation mechanism, must run in parallel and that feature number 2 does not replace, but complements the other two actions in order to provide Auroville with a comprehensive land-protection plan and an effective land-protection platform. The tasks to be carried out within the community such as the preparation of Detailed Development Plans and the acceleration of land purchase have to be done, irrespective of whether the existing Tamil-Nadu land-use regulation system remains or whether a new, more effective mechanism is explored and put in place.

The Land Protection Team looks forward to further participation in this work and will keep the community informed.


Kindly,
The Core Team, on behalf of the Working Committee, the Auroville Council and the TDC