Over 4,000 women, who became widows during Bhopal gas tragedy, are in a dire state because of the discontinuation of their meagre monthly pension since last five months.
Their situation is particularly grim because of the ongoing festive season. In most cases, the widows sustain on the paltry pension of Rs 1000 per month, being given to them under a special sanction of the Union government.
The widows have not received pension since April this year, after audit objections were raised about errors in calculations of the arrears on the pension paid to these widows. It has been found that most of these widows were paid quite more than the due amount and now the amount was being adjusted.
Gas survivors' organisations have been making representations to the state gas relief and rehabilitation department and the district collector in the matter, but to no avail.
"It is quite insensitive of the government to stop the pension that sustains these women. We suspect that a racket was involved in getting unduly high arrears paid to the women so that the middlemen could earn some commission out of it. The women are not at fault and should not be made to suffer," convener of NGO Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS), Abdul Jabbar said.
The district collector Nishant Warwade however said it can't be said that pension is not being paid to the women. "Rather they got more amount than the due amount. We are now adjusting the payment. The monthly payment would restart once the adjustment is over," he added. The Union government had sanctioned monthly pension of Rs 1000 for the gas widows in year 2010 for a period of five years.