Rat-hole miner’s kin refuse Delhi Development Authority’s offer for new house | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Rat-hole miner’s kin refuse Delhi Development Authority’s offer for new house

Feb 29, 2024 11:47 PM IST

Vakil Hassan, the rat-hole miner whose house was demolished, said that his family will not accept any other offer than a permanent house

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Thursday said it offered an alternative accommodation to the family of one of the rat-hole miners involved in the Silkyara tunnel rescue operation but its offer was refused — a day after the agency demolished his house citing encroachment.

On Wednesday afternoon, DDA demolished Hassan’s house in the Shriram Colony area of Khajoori Khas in northeast Delhi. This was the only house demolished in the area on Wednesday as officials said it was the only one where no legal stay was obtained from any court. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
On Wednesday afternoon, DDA demolished Hassan’s house in the Shriram Colony area of Khajoori Khas in northeast Delhi. This was the only house demolished in the area on Wednesday as officials said it was the only one where no legal stay was obtained from any court. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Meanwhile, Vakil Hassan, the rat-hole miner whose house was demolished, said that his family will not accept any other offer than a permanent house and will start a hunger strike if their demands are not met.

“We cannot accept what DDA is offering in its current form. They are giving us an alternative accommodation, but we don’t know if that is permanent or just a temporary shelter. I sold my wife’s jewellery to buy this house and now my three children are homeless. My family will fast unto death if we don’t get our home back,” said Hassan.

Separately, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Atishi on Thursday asked lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena to offer homes under the PM Awas Yojana to people whose houses have been demolished during anti-encroachment drives, similar to an offer that is being made to Hassan.

On Wednesday afternoon, DDA demolished Hassan’s house in the Shriram Colony area of Khajoori Khas in northeast Delhi. This was the only house demolished in the area on Wednesday as officials said it was the only one where no legal stay was obtained from any court. Officials said that DDA was “unaware” that the house belonged to one of the rescue workers, adding that the house was built on encroached land. DDA has tried to free the property in the past as well, they added.

“...Alternate arrangements for providing shelter to Vakil and his family were made by DDA. Officials of DDA went on site to meet Vakil and to convey this offer to him,” DDA said in a statement.

It added that apart from this, temporary relief in the form of employment to Hassan was also worked out and conveyed to him by the officials. A senior officer of DDA also visited him late at night, officials said.

“In continuation to the efforts, according to instructions of the lieutenant governor, DDA has extended further assistance to him and his family in the form of an EWS flat at Narela as an immediate measure of shelter,” the statement added. DDA officials said that the encroachment had been in place since 2016 and demolition was attempted in 2017 and 2022.

Hassan, however, said that his family has been rendered homeless and will not accept any offer till a permanent home is promised.

Supporting the demands made by Hassan, Atishi said the others who have been rendered homeless by continued demolition drives should also be given homes under government schemes. “In the past few months, multiple agencies under the union government have been conducting demolition drives to render the poor homeless, be it DDA, ASI, L&DO or railways. Tughlaqabad fort area, Ghosia colony of Mehrauli, JJ camp in Karkardooma and near Azadpur mandi, Sunder Nursery, Sanjay camp near Safdurjang are all areas where hundreds of poor people’s homes have been demolished. As the election starts, the government will put up posters claiming that it will give permanent homes where there are jhuggis. We request the LG to provide homes to all these Delhi residents who are now homeless,” said Atishi.

The LG secretariat did not respond to the demands made by Atishi.

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