The principal secretary (PS) of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department has been urged to ensure the immediate reinstatement of monthly pension to the gas widows (women widowed during Bhopal gas tragedy).
NGO Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) has written to the principal secretary Praveer Krishn, urging him to get the pension, that was stopped since April this year, restarted for the eligible and legal beneficiaries.
In the letter to the principal secretary, the president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan has said that the Union government had sanctioned monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for the gas widows in the year 2010 for a period of five years.
The disbursal of the pension was however stopped in April this year after audit objections on paying arrears on the pension.
Also there have been objections related to fake beneficiaries and involvement of middlemen in the entire process. Abdul Jabbar of the BGPMUS has said that while such suspect cases could be kept pending, the eligible and genuine beneficiaries should not be made to suffer and their pension should be restarted.
Meanwhile, a section of gas widows held a demonstration at the Gas widows’ colony on the same issue under the banner of the Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pendion Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha.
The women were also protesting the poor civic conditions in the locality. They said that 4,400 gas widows were getting the monthly pension, but it was suddenly stopped from month of April.
A memorandum was submitted to the gas relief commissioner RA Agrawal, but to no avail. They demanded immediate reinstatement of the pension.