Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Malkangiri: Several beneficiaries of the old-age pension scheme residing in the Bonda Ghati area of Khairaput block have alleged irregularities in the distribution of pensions and demanded a thorough investigation into the illegalities.

They alleged that despite the state government’s assurance of providing pension in advance to old age people in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the beneficiaries in Bonda Ghati area have been deprived of their due since the past many months. The pensioners in Andrahal Panchayat are the worst sufferers due to the negligence of the block administration, they alleged.

After making several rounds of the block office in vein, the distraught beneficiaries alleged that the government officials seem to have embezzled the funds meant for them.

Usually, the beneficiaries are given the pension amount on the 15th day every month. However around 12 villagers in Bonda Ghati have been waiting for months together to get their pensions, it is alleged.

“We have not received our pensions since the last seven months. Due to the prevailing pandemic our condition has worsened, but no one is giving attention to our plight,” alleged a local resident adding that the administration is responsible for the mess.

“We suspect the funds have been embezzled by the officials. We demand a high level probe into the incident,” said another local resident.

However, the chairman of Khairaput block, Kumudini Kirshani sought to dismiss the allegations made by the pensioners.

“Barring few, most of the beneficiaries have got the pension. The rest will soon be provided with their due,” said Kirshani.

Sources said that following the outcry by the elders, the BDO of Khairaput block Hrudananda Sahu and his team were seen disbursing the pensions hastily.

“We have received the complaints, but the allegations are baseless. Most of the beneficiaries have received their pension,” said Sahu.