Grave irregularities exposed in pension payments
THE HANS INDIA |
Feb 15,2017 , 01:35 AM IST
Pithapuram: In a shocking revelation that came to light, 97 ineligible widows received pensions out of 321,38 beneficiaries although their husbands are alive.
Decrying the callous attitude of social welfare department in picking the beneficiaries, an old woman who was allotted pension on Monday demanded scrapping of the pension scheme.
Even as officials questioned a local member Gorla Venkataramana in view of the allegations that only high castes managed to corner toddy/handloom pensions.
Although widow pensions have been sanctioned to 176 people, only 38 were found to be eligible, whereas in the case of 12 women, it was learnt that their husbands were found alive.
More shockingly, the remaining persons were given pensions without death certificates. Of the 23 toddy-tappers, 20 belonged to high castes that did not climb a toddy tree even once.
Of the 23 handloom weavers who are enjoying the benefit, 21 alone do not know the meaning of loom. Out of 76 old-age pensions, pension amount was given to 15 underaged after they changed their IDs of Aadhaar and Voter ID cards.
The local municipal office wore a deserted look on Monday, with many of the staffers attending an inquiry on the issue conducted at the Revenue Divisional Office.
Political pressure and recommendations from the Janmabhoomi Committees were said to have influenced while sanctioning the pension amount.
Allegations emerged following house-to-house searches conducted by 40 VROs(village revenue officers) after Kakinada RDO Raghubabu was appointed inquiry officer who submitted a comprehensive report to the Collector Ch Arun Kumar.
The report reportedly exposed the fact that pensions were sanctioned without any certificates.
As a follow-up action, ‘silent’ searches were conducted by the Intelligence Department in Peethapuram, Gollaprolu and Kothapalli mandals.
Besides, several civic body associations exposed corrupt practices indulged by the local civic body while sanctioning pensions.