14 Aug 2020 2:17 PM GMT
The Karnataka Government has told the Karnataka High Court that the 'Cauvery Calling' project, proposed by the Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev's Isha foundation, is not the project of the state government. In a supplementary statement of objections filed before the court, states that "The responsibility of the respondent 2 (Isha Foundation) is limited to mobilizing/motivating and...
The Karnataka Government has told the Karnataka High Court that the 'Cauvery Calling' project, proposed by the Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev's Isha foundation, is not the project of the state government.
In a supplementary statement of objections filed before the court, states that "The responsibility of the respondent 2 (Isha Foundation) is limited to mobilizing/motivating and enrolling farmers under the existing scheme (Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojane) and not beyond that."
The Court had sought an explanation from the state as in the earlier statement of objections filed before the court it had said "The State Government is not sponsoring or financing the project of the second respondent". However, another statement read that the project of the second respondent of 'Cauvery Calling' has been accepted. The Court had asked the State to explain this inconsistency.
The supplementary statement mentions that Isha Foundation had submitted a draft detailed project report to the government in the month of August 2019. The same was deliberated upon by the government and its authorities. During the discussion, the forest department pointed out that there is already a scheme in existence by the name 'Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojane', from 2011.
After detailed discussion and consideration of the draft detailed project report submitted by Isha foundation and having regard to the scheme, it was decided that the forest department will raise additional sapplings of two crore and distribute them under the existing scheme. The second respondent (Isha foundation) was allowed to mobilise the farmers and to motivate/enroll them under the existing scheme of the state government.
Moreover, to raise the additional saplings and make it available to farmers who are motivated by Isha foundation, the forest department had sent a proposal to the state government on September 12, 2019, which was accepted by the government.
The affidavit states that the government has not accepted the draft detailed project report of Isha Foundation. It also clarifies that the statement made in the statement of objection filed earlier that the proposal of respondent 2 (Isha Foundation), was thus accepted, would refer to the proposal of the Forest Department.
The affidavit was filed while hearing the petition filed by advocate A V Amarnathan, seeking directions to the foundation to not collect funds from the public for the Cauvery Calling project.
As per the petition, the Foundation is planning to plant 253 crores tree saplings across the 639 kilometer stretch of Cauvery river bank from its birth place Talacauvery to Thiruvarur. The Foundation is said to be collecting Rs. 42 per tree planting from the public. That means it is collecting a whooping sum of Rs 253 X 42 in total of Rs, 10,626 crores , which according to the petitioner is a major scam.
On January 7, the Court had asked Isha Foundation to disclose the amount it has collected for the 'Cauvery Calling Project
The bench had then said "Do not be under the impression that you are not bound by law because you are a spiritual organization."
Later, Isha Foundation told the Court that the project was being dealt with by Isha Outreach.
The petition is likely to be heard on August 25.
Click Here To Download Statement