Elderly run around for MCD pensions

Walia suggests electronic transfer of funds

Revealing that the three municipal corporations have not been able to disburse old age and widow pensions in time to a large number of beneficiaries after the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated  in April, Delhi health minister Dr A K Walia on Monday urged them to deliver the same at the earliest.

“The delay in release of pensions is causing harassment to beneficiaries. A large number of beneficiaries were getting financial assistance from erstwhile MCD through area councillors but now they do not know where to go as the councillor as well as the municipalities have changed,” said Walia.

The minister asked the director of local bodies to instruct the corporations to sort the matter quickly and release the arrears of pensioners.

Walia said that the system of approaching the area councillor for their pension each time is cumbersome for the beneficiaries. He suggested that all types of financial assistance in the form of pension may be released electronically to enable people to get pension on time without having to visit the councillor time and again.

“This would go a long way in establishing transparency and efficiency in disbursement of pension,” he said.

Walia also condemned the ongoing practice of booking of community halls and parks which require a recommendatory letter from the area councillor.

He said the community halls have been constructed with the budget allocation of city government, and it is surprising that while the recommendation of area MLA is not mandatory that of the respective councillor is required.

“There should be a centralised  booking counter for online handling of requests. It may be recalled that the director, local bodies had issued a showcause notice asking the corporations to explain why the booking and allotment of community halls should not be done on the basis of first come first serve basis while giving priority to the residents of the ward in which the hall is situated,” said Walia.

The corporations did not even care to submit their replies and have become indifferent towards the people’s needs, he added.

Walia believes that the city is losing its sheen due to the gross violation of the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Properties Act, 2007  since the corporations have been selective in taking action against pasting of posters by a particular party.

He has asked the director, local bodies to instruct the corporations to formulate a policy framework for putting a restriction on the number of signboards which the public representatives can display in the area they represent.

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