Thursday, June 12, 2008

This is the first of the 100 Questions we will raise for generating awareness about the happenings in Auroville


The Indian citizen is the Supreme authority in Indian democracy. To empower Indian citizens with powers to act as checks and balances against misuse of power, the greatest achievement, is armoring the Indian citizen with a Right to Information Act. Auroville Foundation is answerable to Indian Parliament; thereby it implies it is bound to answer any Indian citizen. Under Right to Information Act, as per the website of Auroville Foundation, in past three years only one had asked information, but they say that application is disposed of instead of being transparent whether answer is provided or not. All other years only “Nil” is shown against all columns. Hence I had sought information, and awaiting answers, since the stipulated time to reply has not come to an end.

Matrimandir, the temple which is being built from 1971 to 2008, yet to get completed, is one of the main areas, where Indian Human Resources Development Minister Mr. Arjun Singh must focus his attention. We in South India know that one GoldenTemple had come up in Vellore and another in Andhra Pradesh borders, built by Indian God-men. We wonder why the foreign brains which live under the illusion they are superior on Earth had not completed the Matrimandir for nearly 37 years. We suspect corruption. To substantiate our suspicion, we are quoting in verbatim the concerned pages regarding Matrimandir prepared by Institute of Public Auditors of India, as internal audit.

We urge that in Foundation’s website the Reports of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, since Auroville Foundation Act came into existence, should be uploaded, after all this Institution is not for foreigners and by the foreigners. The Chairman must answer, or the Secretary of the Foundation must answer to Indian public, and they cannot shirk responsibility and pass the buck to some foreigner, who is not answerable to Indian Parliament. This is the first of the 100 Questions we will raise for generating awareness about the happenings in Auroville and to ensure Government of India intervenes to effect amendment to Act and initiate corrective measures.
N. Nandhivarman
General Secretary Dravida Peravai
39 Montorsier Street, Puducherry 605001.

The Matrimandir, a huge sphere which contains a white chamber in which sun light pours down upon a glass globe, is both the geographical and spiritual centre of Auroville. The Matrimandir is a place of silence and concentration. The Mother approved the model of Matrimandir and the foundation stone there for was laid on the 21st February 1971. The major areas of work on the structure are under completion and attention is being given to the development of surrounding garden and a lake. Completion of main structure alone (sans lake and garden) is scheduled for completion in February 2007. The Matrimandir together with its gardens extends over an area of 28 ha. Mr. Roger Anger a close disciple of Mother has been named by her as Chief Architect of Auroville Town Ship and Matrimandir. It was stated The Mother has explained her vision of Matrimandir to Mr. Roger Anger and Matrimandir is being executed as per her vision.

A perusal of records made available revealed the following:
a) No Master plan based on Mother’s vision detailing implementation and monitoring mechanism, mobilization of resources, time schedule for completion etc. has been prepared for systematic and speedy execution of the project.
b) Before a project is taken up for execution, a project report is to be prepared containing inter alia, i) detailed estimate indicating the nature and volume of work to be done. This should be supported by designs, plans and other related documents. ii) The approximate cost of execution based on the above estimates indicating the cost of the materials to be purchased, labour charges to be incurred and administrative / other incidental expenses. The rates adopted would be supported by schedule of rates prevailing in the locality; and iii) The time schedule for the completion of each activity and the project as a whole.

Once this is prepared, this should be scrutinized by a competent technical authority who would examine its technical viability and its cost effectiveness. After the technical sanction, financial sanction of the nominated authority is to be obtained before the work is taken up.
c) It is observed that no such procedural formalities indicated in (b) above were adhered in the case of Matirmandir.
It is observed that the Matirmandir project cost would work out to several crores of rupees. A sum of Rs. 26.60 crores has been spent on the project to end of March 2005.
d) In spite of the huge volume of work and cost involved no detailed procedure has been laid down for preparation of estimates, getting technical and financial sanctions, fixing norms for calling for tenders/quotations and placing of purchase orders for procurement of materials, etc. The system of maintaining Measurement Books to record, measure and check measure the work done, which is a requisite in the execution of civil works is also not in vogue.

On 26th August 2003 the Matrimandir core group appointed a Consultant Engineer for Matrimandir Project and decided that henceforth all work proposals should be presented to the core group after they are approved by the Consultant Engineer. The Consultant Engineer desired that all work proposals sent to him for approval should be accompanied by:i) sketches/drawings approved by Shri Roger Anger, Chief Architect or site architects.ii) detailed estimated quantities of various items of workiii) detailed financial estimates supported by enquiries, quotations etc.The Consultant Engineer also named three site engineers for the project.
In July 2004 a cost estimate for completing the remaining works of Matrimandir building structure at cost of Rs.506 lakhs was prepared. It could not be ensured whether the approval of Consultant Engineer was obtained after following the above procedure laid down by him as the relevant records were not made available for verification.
It is observed that there was no provision in the estimate to incur expenditure on “Water proofing of hemisphere”. However, an expenditure of Rs.32.03 lakhs has been incurred to the end of October, 2005 on this item of work. Further, there was an excess expenditure over the provisions made in the estimate to an extent of Rs.62.30 lakhs to the end of October 2005 in respect of other items.
It is observed that monetary resources were not a constraint in the execution of the project as seen below:-
Year Fixed Donations received Expenditure Deposits (Foreign " Indian)
2000-01 75.16 lakhs 3.31 crores 2.99 crores2001-02 88.17 “ 1.84 “ 1.71 “2002-03 89.02 “ 1.36 “ 1.20 “2003-04 95.39 “ 1.99 “ 1.33 “2004-05 68.57 “ 2.41 “ 3.23 “
The work started in February 1971 involving an investment of Rs.26.60 Crores up to the end of March 2005 still remains incomplete and the Mother’s wish that “the Matrimandir will be the soul of Auroville” is yet to fructify even after 34 years.

Other observations: a) Refund of customs duty not obtained - loss of Rs.27.68 lakhs.
Matrimandir is eligible to import goods without the payment of customs duty on the production of essentiality certificate. It is observed that the goods were cleared by paying customs duty due to delay in the receipt of essentiality certificates from DSIR of Science and Technology Ministry, as non-clearance of goods would result in payment of demurrage charges. Under Section 27 of Customs Act, one year time is allowed in such cases for filing applications for the refund of customs duty already paid. In the case of materials listed out in annexure, it is observed that the Matrimandir lost a sum of Rs.27.68 lakhs on account of (i) belated receipt of essentiality certificates and belated filing of return for refund Rs. 1,94,124(ii) essentiality certificate recd. in time but filed belatedly Rs. 8,50,954(iii) essentiality certificate applied for in 1999-2000but not received so far Rs. 17,22,459 Total Rs. 27,67,537
There is no mechanism for effective follow up of receipt of essentiality certificates and refund claims.
b) Non-Maintenance of FC 6 Register. As per FERA, organizations receiving foreign donations in kind should maintain a separate stock register of such donations in FC 6 format. It is however, observed that Matrimandir receiving foreign contributions in kind directly is not maintaining FC 6 register. Further there is no system of intimating the receipt of foreign contributions in kind to Auroville Fund (Foreign Contribution Acccount) which complies FC 3 return of foreign contributions received in Auroville for submission to Government of India. As a result foreign contributions of Rs.12.09 lakhs received in kind during 2003-04 to 2005-06 did not figure in the FC 3 returns of respective years.
c) Non-releasing of funds.Foreign and Indian contributions received for Matrimandir during 2004-05 were not released to Matrimandir in full. Received Released Rs. Rs.
Foreign contributions 98,62,282 65,91,770Indian contributions 96,74,503 49,73,661 *
*including Rs.60,660 relating to 2003-04 The reasons for short release of funds are not on record. Matrimandir is also not being informed about the total contributions received so that is could plan the execution of works in time.
d) Gliding Equipment returned not reflected in the accounts.On the recommendation of FAMC a gliding equipment with accessories worth of Rs.8,00,806 received was returned in 2003-04 to the donor as they are not required at Matrimandir. However, this Transaction was not reflected in the accounts for the year 2003-04.
e) Materials lying outside Auroville not reflected in the accounts.A perusal of the Balance Sheet as at 31.03.2005 revealed that an amount of Rs.3,50,000 advanced to M/s Hindustan Safety Glass Ltd. paid on 24.04.1998 was shown as outstanding advance and the value of materials amounting to Rs.9,30,909 unloaded on 20.09.1997 at the premises of the company has not been disclosed in the accounts.
f) Depreciation of assetsMatrimandir has been under construction from 1971 and the work is still in progress as it involved different kinds of works viz. Inner Chamber, Inner skin, construction of petals, completion peace trees, etc. The cumulative cost of this project from 1971 amounted to Rs.26.60 crores as on 31.03.2005 and no depreciation has been provided on this asset. Though the project has not been completed as a whole and in principle no depreciation is chargeable, the assets created during the last 34 years would be subject to wear and tear due to efflux of time. Hence, non-provision of depreciation is not in accordance with the generally accounting principles.
g) Banking transations
i) As per Auroville Foundation Rules, 1997 all monies are to be kept in a bank account with State Bank ofIndia. It is however, observed that Matrimandir is having bank account with Karur Vysya Bank, Vysya Bank, and State Bank of India which is against the Rules of the Foundation.
ii) It is observed that Matrimandir requested the Foundation Office on 11.08.2004, to release a sum of Rs.25,00,000/-. As there was no sufficient funds in the account of Foundation, over draft facility was availed and Rs.25 lakhs was released to Matrimandir. For availing the overdraft the Foundation incurred an interest of Rs.47,470. It is however, seen that on 14.08.2004 Matrimandir deposited this sum of Rs.25 lakhs in one of its bank account for 3 months. Obtaining an over draft and depositing the same in term deposit account is not justified.
iii) It is also observed that moneys were transferred from one account to another in the last week of a month vide instances given below:-
Date of Transfer Amount Transferred Balance available From Karur Vysa Bank Date with S.B.I. To S.B.I (Rs.)
27.05.2004 1,50,000 31.05.2004 2,25,63430.07.2004 1,50,000 31.07.2004 1,75,70027.08.2004 2,50,000 31.08.2004 2,72,655
Note: There were no transactions in between these dates.
As transfer of funds after 10th of every month results in foregoing interest such transfers are to be avoided except in case of actual need.
For Institute of Public Auditors ofIndia Dated: March 22, 2006 (John Varghese) Secretary, Chennai Chapter

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 12th, 2008 at 6:20 am and is filed under Uncategorized, Politics.

1 comment:

  1. As Convenor of the Matrimandir Action Committee, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea) was asked to comment on Mr. Nandhivarman’s letter and its relevance to recent events in Auroville reported in the international media. The following is Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s reply:

    A Statement
    from Matrimandir Action Committee

    As convenor of the Matrimandir Action Committee, my attention has been drawn to a number of problems Auroville faces of late by certain residents of the Community who have sought my views on possible solutions. More recently I received an Open Letter issued by Nandhivarman to the Human Resources Minister, questioning aspects of Matrimandir operations. Its motivation may be unclear; but, it needs to be reiterated once again, the roots of the problems – unknown to the parties involved – lie in the choices made by the Community itself.
    In spiritual circles it is known that the root of any problem must be first sought within, be this on the individual level no less than the collective. In Auroville given its role among the organisations founded by the Mother, it is the group that determines the development by the choices it makes collectively.
    In 1974 the community was given a choice which determined the course the project would take thereafter. The decade of the 1970s witnessed the cementing of that choice in the destiny of the fledgling community; from then onward the course the project took was a play-out of that act of choosing. The truth of this statement can be factually verified.
    However, to be more precise the very first act of choosing occurred in January of 1970, at the very outset of that fateful decade. This was when the Mother’s original plan of her Inner Chamber was rejected by those involved with her in this matter who pressed for the adoption of a new plan devised by the architects and fully supported by the larger community. Throughout that entire decade attempts were made to encourage a return to the Mother’s original plan, but these were unsuccessful. Far worse, a campaign was embarked upon by those in charge of the construction to convince the world at large that in fact it was the Mother’s original plan with its precise measurements and design that was the model being implemented by the architects.
    This was entirely false and even fraudulent. When my attention was drawn to this dubious activity several years ago, I convened the Matrimandir Action Committee (MAC) whose purpose was to inform the public that this was not at all the case. A series of 12 Chronicles were issued (17 January 2003 to 22 December 2005) highlighting each and every change from the Mother’s original in the already constructed building.
    Therefore, when I am asked ‘what will happen’, or ‘where does the solution lie’, I can only refer the questioner to our MAC website ( All the answers are there to be found.
    To briefly summarise, the Mother’s original plan was similar to a horoscope – the moment when an infant takes its first breath by which all the circumscribing influences are drawn into the consciousness-being of that soul in evolution. For a project such as a temple, the Rishi is the channel through whom the same act is consummated. Needless to say this is a very rare happening. I know of no other such occurrence in contemporary times apart from the Mother’s inspired Act of Seeing in January of 1970. In the construction of Hindu Temples a similar ‘horoscopic imprinting’ is done when the figure of the Vaastu Purush (the Cosmic Being) is embedded in the site according to precise rules of engagement based on cosmic harmonies. The Mother’s original vision enhanced this ancient practice, carrying it to even greater heights.
    Thus, the disciples and architects, and later the builders and the community consciously, knowingly replaced that stamp of a higher destiny with a lesser destiny of ‘mixture’, as cautioned by the Mother at the time. It was then entirely predictable that different ‘laws’ would prevail for the project and not those originally encompassed by the Mother’s plan. Based on those changes alone I have been able to read that Destiny of Mixture through its ‘laws’ as if it were a book.
    The very first indication of this lapse into a lesser destiny pattern was when that same community, headed by the very same group that had rejected the Mother’s original plan, called for a Government take-over of the city-project. When this did occur the fate of the project was sealed: the original Act of Choosing had indeed set in motion the destiny as now written in the revised inner chamber, rather than the sacred ‘horoscope’ with its inviolable Laws of the Mother’s original plan.
    The lesser pattern was finally completely set in place at the recent inauguration of the revised version of the inner chamber, without, as recommended by MAC, a plaque at its entrance indicating the true position and the changes made, which might have helped redeem something of the ills that were foisted on the project.
    Now there should be no complaints at all after this conscious and willed choice by the Community.
    Verification of all the above can be found in the Mother’s original plan itself where a singular new shastra is given in minute detail – a ‘science’ contemporary minds cannot replicate because its Laws pertain to a dimension that remains off limits to the present-day scientist.

    Matrimandir Action Committee
    14 June 2008

    1.) See: The Supramental Line -
    2.) See: The Mother’s Temple -
    3.) The New Way Vol. I & II: A study in the rise and the establishment of a gnostic society, Volumes 1 & 2, by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, at $45.00, from Æon Books, ISBN: 0945747063. The preeminent symbol of a new consciousness now manifesting upon the Earth is a cosmological structure known as the Mother's Inner Chamber. This sacred structure is a living manifestation of the descending Truth-Consciousness into Earth's atmosphere and symbolizes Earth's emerging Soul. Written into its architectonic structure are keys to the harmonies of the cosmos and the secrets of Supramental Time. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet explains the origins of this contemporary temple design and its occult measurements which define the evolution of consciousness on this planet.
    The New Way, Volume III by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet at $36.00, Rs 750 from Æon Books, ISBN:0945747039. In this volume the INDIVIDUAL is featured in his evolutionary journey. The contemporary process of evolving a completely new condition of being, called the Supramental by Sri Aurobindo is the theme of this volume. To illustrate the method, the author reveals the occult significance of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, the famous drawing of a man within a circle and a square which she calls the Universal Being. On the backdrop of the Mother’s Inner Chamber, the central revelation of Volumes 1 and 2, through Leonardo’s drawing the author carries sacred art to dimensions never before reached. The author also elaborates further on her discoveries concerning Time and its role as an ally in the evolutionary process we are all experiencing. She writes about the importance of experiencing Whole Time, the complete cycle of experience, previously unknown and now open to humanity and with it the ultimate conquering of Death.