Public interest litigation filed by in the Karnataka High Court seeks directions to Isha Foundation, headed by Guruji Jaggi Vasudev, not to collect any funds from the public for the ‘Cauvery calling project’, in the interest of equity and justice.
The advocate, A.V. Amarnathan, states that the campaign calls for the planting of trees across the Cauvery river from Talacauvery to Tiruvarur. It aims to raise 253 crore plants for which it is collecting Rs 42 per tree, which sums up to Rs 10,626 crore.
As per the petition, the foundation is planning to plant trees, across the Cauvery river from the birthplace Talacauvery to Thiruvarur. A stretch of 639.1kms, it has started its Bike rally from Talacauvery to Thiruvarur. The petitioner is closely watching the media report. The foundation is planning to plant 253 crores plants to save the Cauvery River. The respondent is collecting Rs. 42 per tree planting from the public. That means it is collecting a whooping sum of Rs 253 X 42 in a total of Rs, 10,626 crores. This collection of money from the public is very disturbing.
The PIL says that “Foundation claims that it has conducted studies regarding the Cauvery Basin. But it ought to have submitted the said report to the State. And the state after deliberating the said studies should have given approval. But no such process is carried out. The petitioner submits that no private organization can be permitted to carry out any work, on the Government land, without there being a proper approval from the state.”
The petitioner cited the example of Satya Sai Baba had taken up a project of bringing drinking water from Andhra Pradesh to Chennai without taking money from the public.
It prays for directions to the foundation to stop collecting funds from the public along with directions to the state to look into the Cauvery Calling campaign to take appropriate steps.