MCD pension scam: Names of 3,583 beneficiaries deleted

The matter came to light after an internal inquiry was conducted by the MCD following complaints received last year about certain irregularities in the pension scheme for the elderly, widows and the physically challenged. The civic body had last month said a detailed inquiry will be held to identify the beneficiaries collecting double pension. According to rules, a person can avail such a benefit either from the MCD or from the Delhi government.

Official sources said the beneficiaries have now been identified after checking the details of those getting pension from the Social Welfare Department of the Delhi government and those availing the benefit from the corporation. The names of 3,583 beneficiaries have been deleted from the pension list of MCD after the inquiry, the sources said adding, the zonal deputy commissioners of MCD have been directed to take further action to recover the amount of pension illegally received by them.

According to officials, the highest number of double pensioners were found in MCD West Zone (932), followed by Shahdara North (618), Civil Lines (445), South Zone (399), City Zone (262), Rohini (249) and Shahdara South (218). Leader of MCD House Subhash Arya said, "the names of dual pensioners have been removed and steps will be taken so that such irregularities do not recur."

Sources said to prevent such irregularities in future, the deputy commissioners of the 12 zones of MCD have been instructed to send details of pensioners to the Social Welfare Department of Delhi government regularly. The civic body is also planning to take steps to verify genuineness of the pensioners and prepare a software which could help in checking duplicate payments, they said.

In view of the probe, the MCD had also stopped payment of pension for the last seven months to all 1.90 lakh senior citizens, physically challenged persons and widows receiving the benefit, officials said. The opposition Congress in MCD recently organised a sit-in at the civic body headquarters to demand release of pension to them.

The beneficiaries of the MCD pension scheme are selected following recommendation by the area councillor. The civic body had in its 2010-11 budget increased the pension amount for senior citizens, widows and the physically challenged from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per month.

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