Pradeep Pattanayak

To get their pension money, the elderly beneficiaries of old age and widow pensions have been visiting the Balasore municipality office daily since November 15. But every day they had to return empty-handed, thanks to the executive officer being on leave. 

With the hope of getting their pensions, the beneficiaries of old age and widow pensions visited the municipality office on Saturday. They were seen standing in a queue from as early as 7 am. They were kept waiting till 1 pm and then asked to go back. 

The beneficiaries have been experiencing such a situation daily since November 15. Some are even seen waiting till evening, hoping to get their pension money. As of now, their patience is alleged to be wearing thin. 

“As we are told to come on the 15th of every month, we have been visiting the office since November 15. We are coming to the office at 6 am and waiting till 1 pm, or till when are asked to leave the office. We are experiencing a lot of hardship,” said a beneficiary. 

Narrating the beneficiaries’ predicament, councilor of Ward No-12, Anindya Kumar Panda said, “The beneficiaries are facing such problems time and again because the concerned officer is often going on leave. The pension money should be disbursed in time which is not happening.” 

When contacted, Balasore district Collector Duttatreya Bhausaheb Shinde admitted the problem experienced by the pension beneficiaries. 

“The Sub-Collector is in charge of the executive officer of the municipality. He had to go to his village for some reason. This is why cash couldn’t be withdrawn. But, I have directed to distribute the pensions in the coming two days,” said the Collector.

“In the coming days, a buffer cash would be kept so that in case of any emergency, it would be utilised and pensions would be distributed right on the 15th,” he added. 

With the intervention of the district Collector, distribution of pensions started on Saturday afternoon.

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