Delay in pension irks widows, protest with empty diyas
Widows of the gas tragedy victims protested with empty diyas (earthen lamps) on the occasion of Diwali. They were demanding payment of the pension not received for the past six months.
The protestors assembled in large numbers at Lily Talkies Square under the banner of Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Samiti to take part in the protest.
"I haven’t received my pension of Rs 1,000 (per month) for past six months, which was announced to the widows of gas victims during the regime of erstwhile UPA government. I couldn’t celebrate Rakhsha Bandhan and now it is Diwali," said Chironji Bai from Gas Widows’ Colony.
Another widow Goojar Bai said she hasn’t received her destitute pension of Rs 500 since January.
Their pension is being delayed on the pretext of audit objection, said Balkrishna Namdeo, president of the morcha.
"If there is some objection, officials of the gas relief department should be taken to task instead of putting the widows in trouble," said Namdeo.
According to Namdeo, an amount of Rs 30 crore was transferred to the collector’s office for paying pension to 5,000 widows of gas victims in 2010. However, gas relief office at the collectorate had identified 4,837 widows to pay a pension of Rs 1,000.