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Assam: No State for old men

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 May 2015 12:00 AM GMT

* Dispur callous to pensioners
* Understaffed pension directorate working with hired computers
* Two-year backlog of files, allegations of rampant graft

Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, May 3: How compassiote is the State government to its retired employees? A glimpse of the workings in the Pension Directorate located at Housefed Complex in Last Gate gives a tell-tale answer to the question.

A directorate, which caters to retired employees, is situated on the sixth floor of the complex. The lift in the complex has been defunct for quite some time. One can well imagine the plight of ageing retired employees who have to frequent the Directorate to get their files moved and grievances redressed.

There are over 5,000 pending files in the Directorate, most of them gathering dust due to shortage of employees as well as rampant red-tapism. The files are mostly of retired employees of the Education and Panchayat departments, besides former Zila Parishad employees.

The fact that employees are currently working on files of May, 2013 gives an idea of the huge backlog of files at the Directorate.

Worse, there are allegations that the files do not move without bribes.

“There is no place to keep files. Sometimes, it is difficult even for us to find a file,” said an employee of the Directorate.

There are 35 employees at the Directorate – from the peon to the Director. Of them four are junior assistants. The Directorate has of late recruited four assistants on contractual basis.

The Directorate is also running short of computers. It has taken six computers on hire at the rate of Rs 2,500 per month.

Every day, an average fifty fresh files from the Education department come to the Directorate, but the rate of disposal is very poor, resulting in a large backlog of pending cases.

Nimai Chandra Das had joined as the new Director of the Pension Directorate on March 26 last. He began with high hopes of setting things in order and clearing the backlog in three months time. “But he has given up. He is rather helpless due to the idequate infrastructure,” said sources close to the Director.

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