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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Rat-hole miner Wakeel Hassan rejects another house offered in Delhi's Dilshad Garden

Hassan, who claimed to have been staying in Khajoori Khas for several years, had lost his house in a demolition drive by Delhi Development Authority on Feb 28

PTI New Delhi Published 02.03.24, 03:51 PM
Rat-hole miner Wakeel Hassan speaks with PTI after his house was razed in a demolition drive carried out by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at Khajoori Khas area of New Delhi, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. Hassan was part of the Silkyara tunnel rescue operation in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district.

Rat-hole miner Wakeel Hassan speaks with PTI after his house was razed in a demolition drive carried out by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at Khajoori Khas area of New Delhi, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. Hassan was part of the Silkyara tunnel rescue operation in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district. PTI

Rat-hole miner Wakeel Hassan, who had lost his house in a demolition drive, has rejected another offer of a house in Dilshad Garden here by the authorities, he told PTI on Saturday.

"On Friday night, four government officers, including an SDM, came and offered me a house in Dilshad Garden but I refused to accept it as they wanted me to shift on a temporary basis," Hassan said.

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"It was also not in writing. That house belongs to an NGO," he said.

Hours after the demolition, DDA officials offered Hassan to move to an EWS (economically weaker sections) flat at Narela, which is far from Khajoori Khas in northeast Delhi. Hassan rejected it saying it was "far and unsafe".

On being asked why he is rejecting the second offer as Dilshad Garden is located near Khajoori Khas unlike far-flung Narela, he said the cost of his house, which was razed by the DDA (Delhi Development Authority), was more than Rs 1 crore and if the government wants to compensate, then the cost of the house should be matched.

Hassan, who claimed to have been staying in Khajoori Khas for several years, had lost his house in a demolition drive by DDA on Wednesday.

He along with his wife and two children have been staying on a footpath and demonstrating against the drive.

On Saturday, during the rain in Delhi, he made a video requesting people to come for his support.

While talking to PTI, he said that his belongings and household articles are lying open in the rain. "Today is the third day of my demonstration, which will continue till I get the solution from the government," he said.

Hassan further said that he had bought this plot from a private person for Rs 33 lakh in 2012-13.

"After buying the plot, I invested about Rs 8 lakh to build the rooms and also gave money to the DDA employees. The cost of my house has now gone up to more than Rs 1 crore now," he claimed.

Veer Dev Kaushik, who lives in the same locality of Khajoori Khas near Hassan's razed house, said the locality was regularised by the Delhi government several years ago, after which he along with many others invested money to buy the plots.

"Hassan had also invested and bought a plot here. But the corrupt DDA officials were still harassing him to get more money and when he failed to do so, his house was razed," Kaushik, a government official in Uttar Pradesh's health department, said.

Hassan was a part of the team of miners that rescued 41 construction workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district by manually drilling through the debris in November last year.

Hassan told PTI on Thursday that DDA officials had said he would be provided a house, but he refused the offer as it was only a "verbal assurance".

Later in the day, he demanded that his house be reconstructed on the site where it stood and threatened to go on a hunger strike if his demand was not met.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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