Over 25 lakh beneficiaries receive pension on day one in Andhra

VIJAYAWADA : Disbursement of social security pensions finally commenced at the village and ward secretariats on Wednesday afternoon. By evening, nearly 40% of the disbursement was completed in several districts.

Several old and differently-abled people were seen waiting at the secretariats since early morning across the State to get their pensions. However, disbursement commenced only in the afternoon, when the secretariat staff brought the cash from the banks.

Though it was announced that for the elderly, infirm, and differently-abled, pensions would be disbursed at their doorstep by the secretariat staff, at several places, beneficiaries turned up in large numbers at the secretariats out of anxiety.

There are 65,60,904 pensioners under different categories and the finance department reportedly deposited Rs 1,951.69 crore with banks for pension disbursement. As instructed, village and ward secretariat staff visited the houses of beneficiaries who are specially-abled, severely ill, bedridden, confined to wheelchairs, and elderly widows of war veterans drawing Sainik welfare pensions.

Disbursement commenced in 13,669 village and ward secretariats out of 14,994. A total of 25.66 lakh beneficiaries received their pensions on Wednesday. District collectors were instructed to ensure that disbursement starts from 7.00 am onwards from Thursday in view of summer.

In Visakhapatnam district, by 7 pm, 48% of social security pensions were disbursed. The highest distribution rate of 78% was recorded in Pendurthi mandal. For April 2024, a total of 1,65,432 pensions were sanctioned for Visakhapatnam district. Of the total, 79,113 pensioners have received the aid.

Following orders from the District Collector, pensions were disbursed to 1,450 disabled, seriously ill, bedridden, and wheelchair-bound individuals at their residences. Additionally, around 4,800 pensions were delivered to beneficiaries residing in rural areas. At every secretariat, arrangements were made to ensure pensioners’ comfort, including the provision of tents, chairs, and drinking water, so that no inconvenience is caused to them.

Pension distribution will continue till April 6 at the secretariats from 7:30 am to 7 pm. Special arrangements have been made for those unable to visit the secretariats. 

HC dismisses PIL to quash ECI order

The High Court of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday struck down the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by three women seeking suspension of the orders issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI), barring volunteers from disbursing pensions at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries. The bench of Chief Justice Dheeraj Singh Thakur and Justice Rao Raghunandan Rao heard the case

80-yr-old succumbs to sunstroke in Krishna dist

“I am happy to have received my pension at my doorstep, even though it arrived a bit later than expected. Initially, I had doubts whether pensions would be distributed at all, but I am pleased that we have received them,” said a 76-year-old pensioner at KRM Colony in Visakhapatnam.

Similarly, in East Godavari, a total of 96,000 beneficiaries received pensions on Wednesday. District collector Dr Madhavi Latha said so far Rs 29 crore has been distributed to eligible persons. The remaining Rs 43 crore will be paid tomorrow, she added.

In NTR district, by 7 pm, 45% of the social security pensions were disbursed. Though there was grumbling over the delay in payment and beneficiaries being forced to wait at the secretariats till afternoon, several went home satisfied once they received the aid. In Guntur district, over 40% of the beneficiaries received pension on the first day. According to official reports, there are 2.60 lakh beneficiaries in Guntur district.

K Rameshwar Rao, a 70-year-old beneficiary in Guntur city said, “After nearly four years, I had to stand in a queue to receive my pension. I went to the ward secretariat at 10 am and had to wait for two hours. It is not wise to cause inconvenience to pensioners for political gain.”

Meanwhile, the delay in the payment of the social security pensions on the first day evoked political criticism from the Opposition parties, while the ruling party maintained that the Opposition was to be blamed for the present situation.

An 80-year-old woman died of a sunstroke while going to get her pension in Gangur in Krishna district on Wednesday. Another elderly person also collapsed near Peruru village secretariat in Amalapuram of Konaseema district while waiting to get his old age pension.

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