The fragile experiment of Auroville is under threat
from commercial development and land speculators.
We urgently need to acquire strategically important land.
Please join us by donating.
As few as 50 acres (the focus of this campaign) makes a huge difference as a defense against unaligned commercial development. While the price per acres can vary widely, taking today’s average price, it is estimated that Auroville needs $3.375 million to acquire 50 acres depending on what, where, and when available, and the priority given. Every purchase helps and this campaign is a step in achieving greater goals.
While holding to the planned vision of the future city, the reality is that village growth, speculative demand for land, and land prices are growing much faster than funds available for Auroville land purchases.
Land prices within the Auroville Township have increased by almost 500% over the past 10 years. The rapid escalation is not only a reality for land within the designated Auroville Township, but also for other areas in the surrounding region as there is a great migration of people moving off the land and into cities. There has been a slight pause to this appreciation due to an India demonetization program that has temporarily deferred speculators and a drought that has impacted farmers. This has created a brief opportunity that makes it all the more important that the most critical parcels be acquired now.
When funds are available Auroville is always interested in purchasing any acres within its Master Plan area offered at a reasonable price, typically only 50 to 150 acres per year. Given limited resources available for land purchases, there must be priorities to purchases. The most critical properties are those closest to the center of Auroville, the area of the Matimandir, then city properties, and then greenbelt properties. Approximately 102 Matrimandir and city acres, with very few exceptions, represent difficult land ownership issues that take years, sometimes decades to resolve. The next highest priority are approximately 350 to 500 greenbelt acres required to consolidate land boundaries, bridge stranded property, and fill-in, all needed for effective land management including road, utilities, and access control. Priorities may also include opportunistic watershed and farm lands to further develop sustainability.