September 2, 2023
Documents released by government in response to an RTI filing, authorising construction of Adiyogi, including every necessary clearance from requisite government department.
“We have built Adiyogi Shiva after obtaining necessary permission from the District Collector of Coimbatore” said Thiru Dinesh Raja, Spokesperson, Isha Yoga Center, while presenting all the relevant documentary evidence at a press conference on the 2nd of September 2023, Thiru Raja gave a point-by-point rebuttal of the false allegations, elaborating that an organisation with the ulterior motive of somehow stopping the unveiling of the Adiyogi, filed a case against Isha in High Court in Jan 2017. It may be noted that the case was disposed, was brought to a closure last month by Hon’ble High Court.
“The Adiyogi Shiva, which has become symbol of pride and spiritual icon of Coimbatore, was installed in 2017. Generally, approval from the District Collector is necessary for installing any statues. Accordingly, in 2016, we had applied for permission from District Collector to erect Adiyogi,” he said. “The District Collector, based on inspection reports and recommendations of concerned departments, honoured our application and gave permission in September 2016 to erect Adiyogi. Therefore, it is baseless to say that Adiyogi was built without any permission. As per High Court order, we have submitted documents available with us to Department of Town Planning.”
Nullifying the false allegation that Isha has encroached on 44 acres of land belonging to tribal people, Thiru Raja said, “Isha has not encroached on anyone’s land. If they prove that “44 acres of land” is taken by Isha, we will immediately return it. Further in response to an RTI query in this regard, the RTI report clearly states that Isha did not encroach the 44 acres.”
Responding to the allegation that Isha’s buildings were built on elephant corridor and elephant habitat, Thiru Dinesh Raja presented 5 different sets of documentary evidence from various authorized organisations and Government departments – proof that Isha Yoga Centre was not on the elephant corridor.
“Reference RTI Information from Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Report from Expert Committee constituted by Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Central Environment and Forest Department Report, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Report and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) Research report, 2005 & 2017 respectively. in any of the above researched reports on notified and to-be-notified elephant corridors areas, nowhere is location of Isha Yoga Center mentioned,” said Thiru Raja, while presenting the quoted documents.
During this Press Conference, Thiru Raja also presented relevant documents and evidences to reporters, proving all allegations of Adiyogi statue being built after destroying the forest as false, baseless and slanderous. This included the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) permission.