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Govt clueless about ghost pensioners in Bhadrak

Bhubaneswar: Case I: Sabitri (79), who lost her husband Nilakantha Mandal in August last year, came to know few days back that after death also Mandal is receiving his old age pension!
Case-II: Arun Baina’s mother, Ullasa, who passed away in 2013, has been withdrawing her old age pension till date, according to official records!

The cases of Mandal and Ullasa of Bideipur panchayat under Basudevpur Block of Bhadrak district are a tip of the iceberg hinting at how ghost pensioners are active in the district.

When Sabitri visited the bank to withdraw the monthly pension of her husband some days ago, she was told that the amount is being debited from the bank account on a monthly basis. Hearing this she was shocked. But when she tried to find out the matter, it came out to be true.

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“I didn’t get the money. The officials said somebody else might be taking the amount in my husband’s name. How is this possible?” wondered Sabitri.

Same is the case with Ullasa as the official record shows that she continues to withdraw her old age pension even after her husband’s death. “How we will know that who is withdrawing the money? But it is sure that whoever is doing this only with the connivance of government officials”, said Arun, son of Ullasa.

This despite, the district administration is clueless about the modus operandi of the ghost pensioners who are very much active in the district.

“We have just received complaints. After a thorough investigation only we will be able to identify the culprits and stern action will be initiated against them”, said Laxminarayan Mishra, Collector, Bhadrak.

The villagers of Kasia said, though nearly 14 such cases have come to fore, the government officials are not taking the matter seriously.

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