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"The Mother: “And the clear vision: the same thing which in the history of the universe made the earth the symbolic representation of the universe so as to concentrate the work on one point, the same phenomenon is now taking place: India is the representation of all human difficulties on earth, and it is in India that the ... cure will be found. And then, that is why - THAT IS WHY I was made to start Auroville.” (Mother's Agenda Vol.9, Date 3rd February 1968)
We seek to safeguard the territorial integrality of Auroville from the vagaries of the market forces, from the unplanned and incongruous developments so that Auroville could develop into mankind's first unique Universal Township – the Earth-Queen, the Rose-flower of the Earth – which has the potentiality to emerge as a new kind of United Nations, become a major life-line of Tamil Nadu and render extremely significant service to the unity and integral progress of India and humanity.
To create win-win situations for all the stake-holders, to secure the whole-hearted cooperation of all – the landowners, the neighboring population, the potential donors, the concerned administrative departments at the local, State and Central level – for protecting the lands for the appropriate and unified development of Auroville together with the appropriate, beautiful and ideal development of the surrounding population and localities: an Auroville bio-region integrated development which ensures harmonious growth of all the constituents of the bio-region.
The Lands for Auroville Unified (LFAU) aims to:
Since 1993, the Auroville Land Fund has raised Rs. 12.42 crores or
US $ 2,586,600 from Auroville residents and supporters worldwide with which 659 acres of land within the Auroville Township area were purchased to be held in trust for “humanity as a whole.”
Land acquired through donations to the Auroville Land Fund is being translated into tangible projects of great interest to the local people and India at large, as well as the entire planet:
- transforming desert land into forests;
- protecting precious soil and water resources;
- reintroducing sustainable farming practices;
- offering education, vocational training, and employment opportunities;
- providing health and dental care facilities;
- creating centres for traditional and natural healing;
- promoting renewable energy sources;
- developing homes that combine beauty with
natural building materials;
- implementing rural development programmes that benefit over 100,000 people in the bioregion;
- honouring traditional values that have survived for millennia;
- exploring a material and spiritual synthesis for the future.
Over the years, Auroville has successfully acquired about half of the land needed to complete the future town through contributions from committed supporters. In recent years, however, acquisition of the land has become more challenging due to several factors:
Escalating Land Prices
Land prices within the Auroville Township have increased by almost 500% over the past 10 years. The rates at which land is being traded in the Auroville area are determined by:
- the close proximity of Pondicherry , one of India 's fastest growing cities;
- the quick transition of the surrounding rural area into a semi-urban region due to the tremendous population pressure;
- Auroville's own development from a small community into an emerging town.
The rapid escalation of land prices is not only a reality for land within the designated Auroville Township , but also for other areas in the surrounding region.
Land Price Graph
Speculators and Real Estate Developers
Real estate speculation and developments within the township area, inconsistent with Auroville's Master Plan, are on the increase. Real estate developers and outside business people are eager to profit from Auroville's growth and its worldwide attraction of visitors and guests. Restaurants, guesthouses, travelservices, massage centres and shops are already booming on the edge of the Auroville township area. Currently, essential pieces of land within the Green Belt have been bought by outside parties for real estate development. (The Green Belt area has been reserved for environmental conservation and water resource management).
Strip Development along Access Roads
Over the past few years commercial development by outside business owners has mushroomed along the two access roads to Auroville. Further encroachment is very likely to happen where land has not yet been acquired by Auroville. Approximately 150 acres of land along the major access roads needs to be acquired to prevent further detrimental development and to preserve the integrity of the township's master plan and vision.
Auroville's current task is to overcome these challenges in order to acquire the remaining land that is still needed in order to:
- Complete the infrastructure for the future development of the city area;
- Join the existing parcels of forest and organic farm land to form an integral green belt around the city area;
- Unify its efforts to create, together with the local population, a sustainable bioregion in harmony with the Earth.
Once the required acres of land in the township area have been acquired, Auroville can complete its establishment of R&D stations, living laboratories and models for:
- Developing an eco-city
- Integrating rural and urban development
- Protecting forests and sanctuaries for future generations
- Consolidating innovative research and learning centers
- Creating models of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy
- Developing research on community-building, conflict resolution and interaction between people from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds
- Playing a leadership role in protecting and preserving our planet by demonstrating how sustainable living works