Auroville red-flags proposed four-lane NHAI bypass

In a memorandum to the Collector, it suggests an alternate alignment that can discover the north and west of the group

In a memorandum to the Collector, it suggests an alternate alignment that can discover the north and west of the group

Aurovillehas flagged severe issues over the potential havoc {that a} proposed four-lane freeway bypass of the Nationwide Highways Authority of India (NHAI) may wreak on the 5 a long time of reforestation and environmental regeneration work that has remodeled a once-barren plateau right into a bountiful bio-region.

Golden jubilee

The Auroville group, which just lately celebrated the golden jubilee of its founding by Mirra Alfassa, non secular affiliate of Sri Aurobindo, and has about 2,500 residents from 50 nations internationally, is especially nervous that the NHAI alignment for the proposed highway will just about “destroy the work carried out by Auroville over the past 50 years in environmental reforestation and regeneration work and the peaceable environment it strives to ascertain.”

In a memorandum to the Villupuram District Collector L. Subramanian, Auroville raised issues that the proposed bypass, aligned very near the centre of Auroville’s soul, the Matrimandir (lower than 2 km away) and the unplanned haphazard improvement that this may be anticipated to carry, will destroy the peace and tranquillity of the ‘Metropolis of Daybreak’.

“We consider that the at present proposed bypass alignment is just not in the correct place and wouldn’t serve the aim of an actual bypass as a result of by the point it’s accomplished, it will move by means of dense suburban areas of city as may be seen by the earlier bypass (100 ft highway) now congested with improvement. “Subsequently it must be realigned in such a manner that it isn’t detrimental to the setting and water safety, and will serve the meant function of being helpful to the area,” the memorandum mentioned.

In accordance with the memorandum, since inception on February 28, 1968, the Auroville experiment belonging ‘to humanity as an entire’ as said in its Constitution, has the safety and full assist of the Authorities of India, concretised in 1988 with the Auroville Basis Act and its governance construction below the Ministry of Human Assets Improvement.

UNESCO has additionally recognised and inspired Auroville’s potential in 5 main resolutions since 1966, the most recent one being in 2017. Additional, the HRD ministry helps and recognises Auroville as a mannequin, with the aptitude to assist India with its challenges by means of experiments with a sustainable and built-in mannequin of city improvement that seeks to co-evolve with the bioregion in quite a few methods.

Concerted efforts

The memorandum, which has additionally prompt options to the proposed alignment, factors out that over 5 a long time, the Aurovillian group had put in appreciable efforts to offer water safety, restore agriculture to this previously barren panorama, and improve fertility of the land.

“The in depth work carried out within the type of contour-bunding, constructing check-dams and putting in different water conservation and soil erosion management measures resembling in depth tree plantation, has resulted in lowered run-off to the ocean, conservation of the highest soil, and recharge of floor water aquifers,” Auroville mentioned.

Actually, elevated inexperienced cowl, and revival of agriculture within the area has benefited all the encompassing villages within the area.

In addition to, the afforestation work carried out in Auroville and its prolonged area is just not mere plantation of monoculture species, fairly it’s the restoration of the uncommon and extremely endangered Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF) discovered solely alongside the east coast of south India.

As per numerous scientific estimates, it had been lowered to solely 4% of its unique extent.

Whereas restoring the TDEF Auroville has created a number of sanctuaries the place this TDEF restoration may be seen, resembling Pichandikulam, Ravena, Forecomers, Aranya, and plenty of extra, the memorandum mentioned.

In accordance with the memorandum, the outcomes of all these painstaking efforts, stand imperilled as the primary and the second bypass alignments minimize by means of these sanctuaries.

This thriving ecosystem has seen the distinctive return of its fauna, an enormous array of birds, reptiles and mammals now use the forests of Auroville as their habitat.

This fauna requires wildlife corridors to flourish and the shut proximity of such a big freeway poses actual risks to this improvement, Auroville mentioned.

In accordance with the memorandum, the proposed four-lane freeway bypass, with service roads on both aspect round Puducherry city, is meant to permit autos headed southward to bypass the city and connect with the proposed widening of the prevailing 183 km stretch of Villupuram-Nagapattinam freeway to 4 lanes.

The proposed bypass begins from the East Coast Highway (ECR), north of Kalapet and ends at Ariyur village west of Puducherry the place it connects to the Pondicherry-Villupuram freeway and the south Pondicherry bypass to Cuddalore.

It goes from west of Kalapet, passes by means of the japanese aspect of Auroville, north of the Pondicherry airport, crosses NH 45A (Puducherry-Tindivanam freeway) between Morattandi and JIPMER and from east of Ousteri Lake and ends at Ariyur village simply west of Villianur.

The primary alignment proposed by NHAI was passing by means of the inexperienced belt of areas below the Auroville’s grasp plan. This was mentioned in conferences by members of Auroville group and NHAI in Chennai and Delhi, after which the alignment was moved to the east, nearer to Kuilapalayam village, passing alongside the japanese fringe of the Auroville grasp plan. “Nonetheless each these alignments (that are parallel to the ECR, and in between ECR and NH66) are detrimental to the realm,” Auroville mentioned.

Various alignment

The memorandum, suggests in its place alignment, exploring the north and west of Auroville.

Some great benefits of such an alignment would come with connecting to an industrial space resembling Sedarapet — which profit from linkage to the transportation corridors (roads and railways) — conduit alongside small villages and lesser inhabitants density as in contrast with the at present proposed alignment.

One other constructive side of connecting to Sedarapet is that then the alignment passes from the west aspect of Ousteri, which can also be an largely industrial space. This may even not adversely have an effect on Ousteri Lake’s watershed on its japanese aspect. The land costs are decrease on this space as in contrast with villages alongside the present bypass alignment, the memorandum mentioned.

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