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19 Jan 2017

'Deceased' trio's plea for pension

TT, Malda, Jan. 18: Three septuagenarians have written to Malda district magistrate stating that they have not been getting the monthly old-age pensions under a state scheme since July as the local panchayat office records have listed them as "deceased".
Kailash Mondol, 75, Sandhya Roy, 70, and Madhubala Roy, 75, from Narayanpur in Old Malda, wrote to DM Sharad Dwivedi on December 30 requesting him to look into Mangalbari panchayat's claims. They met him yesterday.
Asked about the issue, Trinamul panchayat pradhan Masidur Rehman said: "There are around 1,200 pensioners in my area. There could be an error. Our staff visit all pensioners once a year for updating records. The three persons' names could have been omitted for some reason."
Dwivedi has ordered a probe. "I have asked the block development officer to send me a report," he said.
Mondol said he had been getting Rs 400 a month for six-seven years. "But since July last year, the panchayat office stopped giving it. Last month, we met panchayat secretary Anup Mishra. He told us that as per records, we had died six months ago. We were stunned. We met our MLA (Congress's Arjun Haldar) and he told us to write to the DM," he said.
Mishra refused comment.
Sandhya, a widow who stays alone, said they had also approached the BDO of Old Malda. "But nothing was done."
BDO Narottam Biswas said: "We hope the payments will resume next month with retrospective effect."

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