AUROVILLE INTERNAL AUDIT REQUIRED
NOTE ON THE ROLE OF MR. TOBY NEUMAN IN TDC,WATER HARVEST, WATER SERVICE AND VARUNA
1. Toby has been in charge of Water Harvest for several years. This has been a vitally important service, and has contributed to the sustainable utilisation of water.
2. During his tenure the unit has been systematically asset-stripped and destroyed. Among things that have gone missing and/or sold include 2 excavators, hard disk drives containing vital data on water, jeeps, GPS units, and cash. At least ten Lakhs has been transferred to Water Service, where he is a unit holder, constituting a clear conflict of interest. The fact that Water Harvest is on the verge of being shut down implies that it was deliberately destroyed.
3. Without WH, there is no check on the groundwater extraction, and this is already resulting in salinity. The biggest ‘beneficiary’ of ground water salinisation will be Varuna, who will then have justification for its desalination unit. The implications of having one individual/ unit controlling Auroville’s water and electricity have not been thought out carefully enough and need to be the subject of a much wider debate.
4. A RTI application asking for the work orders for various projects that have been approved by L’Avenir has not been answered. It is believed that in many cases work orders were issued by Toby before any community feedback was obtained.
5. Most recently TDC has approved work on the test ponds. Feedback was asked on this a few years ago, and several people had given very negative feedback. This work was then put on hold, but seems to have started surreptitiously without any clear communication as to why it was taken up in spite of the negative feedback. Please also see # 8 below: even if site permission for the test ponds was given then, it lapsed after 2 years!
6. Apart from the allegations of wrong-doing against Toby in his role of WH executive, there is a constant conflict of interest between his roles at TDC, Water Service and Varuna, and this is an issue the WC needs to address urgently.
7. At the beginning of every request made for feedback by L’Avenir, a statement says that “The final approval is given when L’Avenir / TDC issues an NOC (No Objection Certificate). This happens only once the feedback period is over, the feedback has been evaluated, final decision by TDC has been reached and the necessary financial formalities have been completed. It is only after issuing a final building permission that fencing, building or any other activity on the site can start. It has to be noted that site permission is given to reserve the site for a maximum period of two years in order to prepare a project proposal. It does not give any right to fence and clear the site unless, for practical reasons, there is a special permission of TDC. “
Work on a new well on the Vikas radial started two days after feedback was requested!
8. Toby has also allegedly been in touch with officials of the Highways Authority regarding digging of a trench across the ECR to accommodate the pipeline from the desalination plant. Whether he has done this as a TDC representative or as a Varuna director is not clear. TDC cannot support the desalination plant without a community consensus on this.
MORE DETAILS- RING ROAD
9. Work on Ring road was started without waiting for community feedback.
10. Toby -in his role for L’avenir- allowed work to start on the Ring road in Kottakarai without work-order.
11. Drawings for the Ring road did not show non-Auroville lands, thus misleading decision makers
12. The proposed endpoint of the Ring road in Kottakarai was at the border of a private land, potentially increasing it’s value.
13. Work on the Ring road in Kottakarai was started without L’avenir having seen the situation on the spot
14. Publication in N&N was 2 days before work started
15. The proposed route for the Ring road in Kottakarai included in a dangerous bend around and underneath a tree. Impossible for trucks. L’avenir and community members agreed on a better path. This agreement was not followed by Road service, When Toby was asked to correct this, although he was not in India and could not have seen the situation, he stated that Road service was doing exactly as agreed.
AUROVILLE WATER MAINTENANCE SERVICE
16. Although Water Service was constituted with the remark that no plumbing work was to be undertaken, Toby allows Water Service to do plumbing work.
17. Toby took up temporary management of Auroville Water Maintenance Service when conflicts surface between Aurovilians in that unit.
18. Toby advised to close #Auroville Water Maintenance Service.
19. With Toby in FAMC the FAMC agrees to close down Auroville Water Maintenance Service.
20. Community got involvement, ultimately resulting in an RA-voting. Auroville Water Maintenance Service lives on as a successful service.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
21. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has Toby registered as executive of Basic Water Needs (India) Pvt Ltd and of Varuna Pvt Ltd .
22. In the registers of Ministry of Corporate Affairs Toby uses his Auroville address as executive of Basic Water Needs Pvt Ltd, thus creating a risk for foreign #Aurovilians who have Visa ‘to volunteer in Auroville’. See https://www.zaubacorp.com/company-directors/BASIC-WATER-NEEDS-INDIA-PRIVATE-LIMITED/U29198TN2008PTC066090
23. Conflict of interest while being executive of several water-related Auroville units and services including the non Auroville Basic Water Needs Pvt Ltd.
AUROVILLE INTERNAL AUDIT REQUIRED TATAGROUP TATA RTIINDIA TATADONATIONS news from Auroville Flash news from Auroville Aurovillenews auroville Honorable Minister of Environment and Forest of India tatacompanies
An Auroville fairy tale…..
AVES recently wanted to put a cable through a spot close to my house. They had to use a path near my house because of the intransigence of nearby residents. I agreed, subject to a “credible guarantee” that a road would not follow. Silly of me.
In my absence, work on the cable started- without the guarantee, of course. ( which finally manifested as a soppy and meaningless statement in the News and Notes). I stopped the work until the AVES executive, and one from TDC came to see me to assure me that they didn’t know how this happened, it would never happen again, blah, blah …. this only happened about four times! Love these guys, they really know how to make you feel good after basically “doing” you over!
I was therefore slightly surprised to see the following statement in the N & N after all the work had been completed:
“The TDC gave a short update about the laying of the high tension (HT) cable from Kailash to Bharat Nivas (receiving station). Laying of the HT cable required talks with many individuals; generally the cable follows “right of way”; some adjustments had to be made. In Aurodam one Aurovilian was blocking the work. Mr. Bala Baskar said this behaviour is unacceptable and if his office is asked, he’ll talk to the individual. The Working Committee member made note of the offer.”
On Aug 26, I wrote to the FAMC asking whom they were referring to. Of course I never got a reply from FAMC- I’m still waiting.
One of the TDC members on the FAMC personally wrote back saying it wasn’t him, and said the meeting took place the same day I’d reached an agreement with them. The other member hasn’t replied.
Lets think of why TDC lies, openly, to the community. Its in their genes. They do it for money. One of the executives of of TDC was booted out of the Auroville Service he was in, after an inspection found missing GPS’s, hard drives and even a jeep. Three other vehicles were found being used by people who were not supposed to have them, and a mere 10 lakhs had been diverted to a unit in which he had an interest. Worse still, 20 years of data, meticulously collected by dozens of people, had gone missing. FAMC, of which he’s also a member, refuses to act. On asking one of the members of the FAMC why they hadn’t acted, I was told that “he’s given most of it back”.
If all it needs to escape any consequences, is to give everything back, is it surprising that theft has become an honorable profession in Auroville?
Lets stop this nonsense and clean up all these criminals from our committees.
Auroville will become what is must be:
Only if and when the people living there will stop lying.
The Mother, 18.3.1973
And so it is… “No such thing as a free lunch” Giving “FREE” electricity does not mean you have the right to go around and force your electrical cables or what have you, on to people.
It reminds us of the days when there was meant to be “FREE” internet for all in Auroville, Just so that some people could have their way around. Give the common folk some goodies and you can get away with allot. sorry folks. that’s not the way of the future. better get back to the drawing board.
Almost after 15 years…..
The Older Auroville Cricket Team played a serious cricket match with the present Auroville Cricket team. Match organized by the present team. It was a fun time all the way. Hoisting the Indian flag, sharing lots of old memories, Drinking Green coconuts and eating chicken Biryanis.
Coming back to the match, It was very very tough. The Auroville Seniors scored 117 runs in 20 overs with Partha and Subramanian Kathiravan being the top scorers. And I scored 10 runs with a nicely Hit boundary. Chasing 118 to win, the Auroville Juniors had to face some not so hostile and fierce fast bowling from Senthil. In his second over Senthil removed one of the top order batsmen with a well timed bouncer. Then started the panic for juniors. In my first over and in the first and second ball took wickets and almost had a hat trick almost missing it by a whisker. From there onwards it was all the way the Auroville Juniors with Shani from Aurodam who had 7 lives hit some mighty sixes. It was actually the bat which did the Talking. It looks like that Shanti carried a very expensive (around Rs.20000) bat. Auroville Juniors comfortably won the match by 6 wickets and 3 overs to spare.
Auroville Seniors will officially lodge a complaint with the Auroville Council and Working committee and would push for an investigation to check if there were special spring inserted inside Shanti’s bat. We will wait for the result of the inquiry in 3 years until then, Shanti would be banned from playing all forms of cricket. 🙂
Auroville Senior Cricket Team would like to thank all the Juniors for all their hard work in organizing such a memorable event…… thank you guys.
comprising of women from Auroville and women from The surrounding villages.
Security for the area cannot only be for Auroville, for it to actually work.
We had in the past around the early 90’s, volunteers patrolling Auroville. didn’t work
We had hired local men to patrol. didn’t work
We have professional security services such as group4 etc. Doesn’t work
The only way to make a real security blanket is to weave in the local villages, as it will also benefit the residents of their respective village too.
It would be wonderful to have teams of tough women from Auroville and the Villages around, patrolling the area with zero tolerance.
Get Krav Maga training for all the women on this security force.
For more info on wiki click here Krav Maga
Get trainers to come down from Chennai to teach Krav Maga to this team. I am sure there would be a budget for an Auroville women’s Security Team – a proposal .
please see link bellow.
Please note that this is a proposal.
Auroville News @aurovillenews
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