17 September 2007

Arunachala Status

For many years a legal conflict regarding the status of Arunachala, passed between the High Court, Chennai to the Supreme Court, Delhi. The Archaeological Survey of India and Retired High Court Judge (Chennai) Justice Arunachalam of Sri Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram were untiring in their efforts to preserve the sanctity of Arunachala by requesting severe legal restrictions be imposed limiting development around Arunachala Hill and surrounding countryside.

Sadly their efforts and those of many similarly minded folk failed and on October 03, 2005 the definitive Order (in pdf format) regarding the status of Arunachala was passed by the Supreme Court (Delhi), the highest Court of the land, which declared, ‘We accept the suggestions contained in the Affidavit of Commissioner of Thiruvannamalai Municipality and set aside the impugned judgement constituting the Committees and issuing various directions.’

To read the above mentioned Affidvait of Thiruvannamalai Municipality and better understand their vision for the future of this area, you can refer to this link of the Affidavit in pdf format.

Many visitors to Arunachala, may have noticed in 2005 a sudden rush to build all around the Hill and specially on the Girivalam Path (hillround roadway). This was a consequence of the Supreme Court's decision to leave the administration and development of Arunachala primarily in the hands of Tiruvanamalai Municipality.

Regarding the future expansion and development of this area, there will doubtlessly be many controversial and unpopular decisions. However, in respect of the current Nithyananda Ashram controversy on Pavala Kunru Arunachala hillock, some say that work did in fact proceed after all proper permissions had been received, but because the commencement of construction was met with such a high level of local disapproval, it was deemed appropriate for construction to halt and this particular case now awaits a ruling in the Courts.

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