29 Feb 2024

Delhi: This Is What Happened to House of Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue Hero Rat-Hole Miner Vakil Hasan

New Delhi: House of Vakil Hasan, a key figure in the Uttarakhand tunnel rescue operation, was demolished in a recent drive by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The DDA, as part of its broader initiative to clear unauthorized encroachments in northeast Delhi's Khajuri Khas area, conducted the demolition on Wednesday.

Despite the DDA's claim that prior notices were issued to residents, Hasan and fellow inhabitants contend that they were not informed. 

DDA is an autonomous body controlled by Central Government under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs whose chairman is LG of Delhi.

'Family members were assaulted'

Expressing his dismay, Hasan, who played a pivotal role in saving 41 lives in the Silkyara tunnel, stated, "Our reward for the Uttarakhand rescue was the demolition of our house. I seek assistance; they have apprehended and detained me and my children in a police station. Some of us were subjected to physical assault."

Munna Qureshi echoed Hasan's sentiments

Munna Qureshi, another miner involved in the rescue, echoed Hasan's sentiments, saying, "The government promised us the privilege of staying at home, but they have taken away our teammate's home."

Residents were informed: DDA

Contrary to these claims, DDA officials assert that residents were provided with prior information and emphasize that the land was earmarked for planned development.

The Silkyara-Barkot tunnel rescue operation gained widespread acclaim for employing rat-hole mining, a technique prohibited due to safety concerns. Vakeel Khan and Munna Qureshi, among other miners, intervened when advanced imported machinery failed during the November 2023 operation.

Khan, a rat-hole miner employed by a Delhi engineering services company, vividly recounted the triumphant moment of the rescue. "They hugged me, applauded, and expressed heartfelt gratitude," he said after successfully extricating workers who had spent 17 days trapped in the tunnel.

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