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22 May 2024, Edition - 3235, Wednesday

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PIL against Isha Foundation over 112-ft statue

Covai Post Network


A Public Interest Litigation petition has been filed in Madras High Court challenging the clearance given by authorities to Isha Foundation to construct a 112-foot Shiva statue in Velliangiri Hills.

P.Muthammal, the Vellingiri Hill Tribal Protection Society president filed the petition. She says the Managing Trustee of Isha Foundation, Coimbatore, had acquired 3.26-acre land at Ikkarai Poluvampatti village and carried out the construction of 112-foot Shiva statue flouting all norms.

“We belong to Irualar caste ( Schedule Tribes) and live in Muttathuvayal and Madakkadu in Ikkarai Poluvampatti village, Coimbatore District.The relationship between tribes and the forest eco system and flora and fauna is time-tested and it is ingrained spiritually.

“The construction started from the first week of August 2016, and the 12th respondent (Isha Foundation) has started the construction of 112-ft building on 1,00,000 sqft land without approval from the District Collector, Hill Area Conservation Authorities, Fire Department, Pollution Control Department etc, The construction is being carried out using huge granite rocks and iron rods,” the petitioner says.

Challenging the conversion of wetlands for construction purpose, the petitioner says that contrary to the report by Coimbatore District Collector T.N.Hariharan, the said area is under paddy cultivation and provided photographs.

Refuting the allegations as a baseless one, the Isha Yoga Foundation in its blog has said ” the accusations laid down in the petitions filed against Isha Foundation in the Madras High Court are frivolous and a mere compilation of twisted allegations. We would like to clarify it is a 112-feet statue of Adhiyogi Shiva ( the source of Yoga). The petitioner , incited by vested interest groups, is willfully trying to create a sensation by misrepresenting facts.

A “no objection certificate” certificate from District Collector, Coimbatore for using wetlands for non-agricultural purposes has also been obtained . so the question of violation does’t even arise”.

The web posting titlted “Response to allegations against Isha Foundation’further clarifies that ” The mandatory approval is sought and obtained from the necessary authorities including District Collector T.N.Hariharan, the Forest Department and BSNL. “A structural stability certificate from a Government -certified engineer has also been obtained for the112-feet Adhiyogi statue”.

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