Old-age pension verification: Elderly get no help at municipal office

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Jan 28, 2015 18:46 IST

The elderly people in the city are a harried lot these days as they are not getting any help regarding their queries about verification of old-age pensions at the municipal corporation (MC) Zone A office.

On directions of the deputy commissioner, the booth-level officers (BLOs) from different departments are conducting surveys for verification of old-age pensions. However, several elderly persons claimed that when the BLOs visited their houses they were not at home, due to which they could not fill these forms. They are now visiting the MC office, but are not getting any proper guidance.

Jagdish Kaur, 75, is illiterate and faced difficulty in finding the official concerned to get help since her name was missing in the verification list. As she entered the MC office, she was suggested to go to the third floor to meet the officials concerned, but they were of little help to her. It was not mentioned anywhere as to who is dealing with old-age pension. Finally, after spending more than three hours at the MC Zone A office, she returned home.

"I am going back. I had been getting old-age pension since a long time, but my name is missing in the present list. I had borrowed money for autorickshaw fare to reach the MC office," she said.

However, she also met the BLOs, who were conducting a meeting at the meeting hall, but in vain. The BLOs expressed that they were being forced to do verification work and they were helpless.

Sohan Singh, 78, a resident of New Shimlapuri, also faced harassment finding the official concerned. He was also not at home when the BLO visited his house. At first, he went to the Mc office where no one had information about the official dealing with the verification process. The staff then asked him to go to room number 72 where he was asked to visit room number 73 on the top floor.

Officials told him that they were not authorised to deal with the matter and suggested to visit room number 50.

In charge at room 50 OP Kapoor expressed his inability to inform him about the BLO concerned. Singh was then suggested to visit room number 48, where the staff sent him to room number 51, but in vain again.

HT took up the matter with a superintendent, who phoned the BLO concerned to resolve the problem. The latter said the verification survey had been completed.

Additional commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said, "We will look into the matter. However, we have submitted the report about the old-age pension verification." Despite repeated attempts, deputy commissioner Rajat Agarwal was not available for comments.

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