March 6, 2017

Hindu Communities Applaud Compromise with Rover Pipeline

Last week, the Rover Pipeline successfully reached agreements with several landowners in West Virginia. As News Patrolling reports, one prominent group among those who reached amicable terms with Rover was the New Vrindaban Krishna community, located in Marshall County. According to the article:

“New Vrindaban” (The land of Krishna) holy dham community, founded in 1968 in the Appalachian Mountains and also known as “sacred village”; includes Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra Mandir, Palace of Gold (with rose gardens and over 100 water fountains), Organic Garden, Cow Barn (with over 50 cows, it is claimed to be the “longest running cow protection program in the Western World”), scenic areas, Retreat Center & Yoga Platform, etc. Various Hindu festivals (Diwali, Janmastami, Ramnavami, Holi, etc.) are celebrated here, besides 24-hour kirtan. It is also involved in promoting vegetarianism, spiritual education, etc., and receives thousands of pilgrims/visitors annually. The second of the seven proposed temples, Radha Gopinath Mandir, is reportedly under construction in the complex. Jaya Krishna Das is the President.

Following a meeting in court last week, Rover and the New Vrindaban Krishna community were able to reach mutually beneficial terms on compensation and the routing of the project. As Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Vicki Granado, related to the Wheeling Intelligencer:

“We were able to agree on compensation for the right of way and most importantly, agree on minor route changes that avoided all sacred sites and mitigated any impact to the environment … This is the result of all parties being willing to come together to openly and effectively communicate to solve an issue. This clearly demonstrates that infrastructure and sacred sites can co-exist in this country.”

Religious leaders across the country lauded the terms of the agreement:

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked Energy Transfer Partners for giving due regard to the feelings of the area and worldwide Hindu community and sacredness of Hindu sites. He also commended the community for making efforts and seeking a solution for saving the sacred sites.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged all businesses to work towards respecting and accommodating the religious sentiments of the believers.

CEPI is encouraged to witness this demonstration of cooperation and mutual understanding between local stakeholders and the Rover Pipeline. While news headlines are too often focused on antagonism between landowners and infrastructure developments, last week’s proceedings have clearly shown that relations can be positive, resulting in agreements that benefit all parties involved.