Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhanjanagar, Dec 8:
Over 40 people have died running from pillar to post and 15 families are leading a life in penury in Odisha’s Bhanjanagar as retirement benefits due to them remained elusive as of date.
Among the people leading an impecunious life is Sunadhar Jani, a 62-year-old retired employee of Bhanjanagar NAC. Jani is living in a rented shanty at Patra Colony here in Ganjam district with his 14-year-old daughter. The sexagenarian is struggling with age-related illness and depression who retired from his job two years ago after serving for 41 years.
While his wife Tuni is at her father’s house, his 16-year-old son is working as a migrant labour in Kerala to lessen the financial burden on the family.
It may be mentioned here that Sunadhar retired as Record Room keeper of Bhanjanagar Notified Area Council (NAC) office in 2014 who began his service with the state government as a peon in Revenue department in 1973 and later was transferred to NAC office.
Though he received provisional benefit post retirement, he is struggling for his pension and arrears accrued upon despite bringing it to the notice of NAC officials and District Collector.
Every time he approaches the officials, he gets a monotonous reply that the arrears will be granted after the proposal once passed in council meeting.
The story is same in case of 70-year-old woman Mahali Naik and Mahadei Naik of Sankhasahi even after 10 years of their retirement.
After failing to get any relief, the retired employees had approached the High Court which had passed a directive to release the benefits, but is yet to be complied with.
It is reported that pension and arrears of over 65 retired employees worth about Rs one crore has been lying with BNAC. Out of the beneficiaries, 40 have already passed away in hope while over 15 are fighting for it.