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Majnu Ka Tilla Eviction Issue: Govt won’t give up on 'Little Tibet'
Times Of India[Saturday, August 05, 2006 10:47]
By Nidhi Sharma

RESCUE ACT: The Tibetan government-in-exile has also stepped in
RESCUE ACT: The Tibetan government-in-exile has also stepped in
New Delhi - The Tibetan government-in-exile has stepped in to prevent the eviction of settlers in Majnu Ka Tila. These people will now plead before the Delhi High Court once more on Thursday. To save Delhi’s Little Tibet, Delhi government has also decided to make a last-ditch effort.

Seeing the grim situation, deputy chairman of Tibetan Parliament Gyari Dolma came
to Delhi to examine the possibilities of representing again to HC. Sonam Totgal, director of Bod Gyalo, a monthly Tibetan video magazine beamed across the world, said: "These people will prove to the court that they are not harming ecosystem of the riverbed. This will be represented again in the court and they hope to get some relief."

Seeing the international repercussion of evicting Tibetan refugees from Majnu ka Tila, Delhi has decided to take the help of additional solicitor general and make a second representation before the court on Thursday.

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit conducted a review meeting recently on the issue and instructed urban development minister A K Walia and chief secretary Ramesh Narayanaswami to keep a close watch on the situation. Said Walia: "We are of the view that we can make another presentation before the court. Additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam will be filing an application to ask the court to reconsider. So far we have no rehabilitation plans for the refugees. We want them to stay here."

In July, the court had decided that the refugees would be uprooted and given an alternate place to stay. The Tibetan Colony at Majnu ka Tila is facing eviction as it comes in the way of two projects — widening of NH-45 that runs parallel to the settlement and beautification of Yamuna riverbed. The court had asked Delhi government to formulate a rehabilitation plan. Road widening of NH-45 will require 150 feet of road.

Tibetan community has been residing in the area since 1962. Tibetans were even given a formal assurance from the Centre in 1995 that till the international dispute over Tibet is settled, they would be allowed to live here. Walia said: "It is a sensitive issue and we will try our best to save the settlement."
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