Over 300 residents of Auroville on Saturday resorted to a protest after around 30 trees were uprooted in the core area of the International township to pave way for laying a road for the contentious Crown project.
The project envisages establishment of four zones - industrial, cultural, residential and recreational — growing radially out of the Matrimandir, the soul of the township.
The Town Development Council has been tasked with evolving an action plan for the project.
A member of Auroville’s Resident Assembly, on anonymity, said the Crown Project has been a contentious issue in the community for years and the move to uproot trees with earthmovers has come as a shock to the residents.
“Trees are being uprooted without following due community process. The community has not agreed to this and some groups in Auroville are trying to destroy our forests and go ahead with the project,” he charged.
“An Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) was done by the community and we had even suggested an alternative route for the project, which is financially less costly and would work fine for their purposes,” another member of the Resident Assembly said.
But the Town Development Council and the Auroville Foundation are going ahead with the project despite not being approved by the residents. “The earthmovers have left and we have ended the protest. The Resident Assembly will now sit and discuss the next course of action,” the member said.