By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 31: Dhondhenling Tibetan settlement in Karnataka state’s Chamarajanagar district will soon have the lands they have been living on for more than four decades leased on their name, the Tibetan President Dr. Lobsang Sangay said on Thursday during his official visit there. The Tibetan settlement founded in 1974 will follow suit to its neighboring settlement in Mundgod that was given the status in December 2016.
Kollegal Tibetan settlement will soon avail the RTC (Rights, Tenency and Crops) record which guarantees opportunity to apply for crop loans, incentives on agriculture equipment, farm loans for the Tibetan refugee community there.
The initial order to implement the issuance of the RTC was passed back in 2015 by the Karnataka state government to all its District Commissioners of the three districts where Tibetan settlements are located – Mysuru (Bylakuppe and Hunsur), Uttara Kannada (Mundgod) and Chamarajanagar (Kollegal).
Only Mundgod’s Doeguling Tibetan settlement has received the status till date. The signing of the legal document for the same between the government of India represented by S S Nukul, District Commissioner of Karwar, and Karma Gelek, then settlement officer of Doeguling Tibetan settlement, Mundgod, representing the Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) took place on Dec. 23, 2016. The document signed and in effect is the first legal document that is leased to Tibetans represented by the CTRC in over 50 years of Tibetan exile-hood in India.
The development is the result of successive Kashag or the Cabinet’s efforts towards a definitive policy from the Indian government which finally came in 2014 with the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act. The land however, will not directly be leased to individual Tibetans but to Central Tibetan Relief Committee which will allocate the records to individual Tibetans accordingly.
The Karnataka Secretary of the Revenue Department earlier in Nov. 2015 told reporters, “Neither the CTRC (Central Tibetan Relief Committee) nor any of the individual Tibetans would be eligible to transfer the lease or mortgage or pledge the leased lands to any institution or individual, which will attract termination of the lease. With RTCs in their name, they can avail crop loans, incentives on agriculture equipment, farm loans, etc. We have already directed deputy commissioners of three districts through the regional commissioners to implement the order.”