KHOTANG, Oct 23: Barahapokhari Rural Municipality of Khotang district has been releasing social security allowance in the name of deceased senior citizens and widows, it has been learnt.
According to a complaint filed by more than 50 locals, Barahapokhari Rural Municipality-1 has been releasing allowance in the name of 19 dead senior citizens, six dead widows, and six residents who have already migrated to other districts.
Likewise, four persons are getting double allowance, while one person, who is not a differently-abled person, is getting disability allowance, according to Bidur Shrestha, a local resident.
As per the complaint, the rural municipality has been releasing allowance in the name of dead widows – Khadga Maya Magar, Garbi Maya Tamang, Dangi Maya Tamang, Nir Maya Magar, Bishnu Laxmi Shrestha, and Madan Kumari Rai.
Likewise, Shrestha also said that senior citizen allowance has been released in the name of Harka Bahadur Magar, Sanman Thapa Magar, Lal Bahadur Rai, Manamya Rai, Bhakta Bahadur Karki, Ful Maya Tamang, Badan Maya Magar, Bam Bahadur Khatri, Devi Prasad Shrestha, Dal Maya Magar, Tilak Bahadur Rai, Dambar Kumari Shrestha, Gyan Laxmi Shrestha, Chandra Maya Khadka, Kaushilya Devi Acharya, Kapil Bahadur Rai, Bhala Maya Kami, Dhojbir Damai, and Manamaya Kami, who are already dead.
Likewise, senior citizen allowance has also been released in the name of citizens who have already migrated to other districts such as Biratnagar, Udayapur, among others.
The migrated citizens have been reportedly getting allowance from both districts – from Khotang and from the district they have migrated to.
According to sources, the rural municipality has been releasing disability allowance in the name of Surya Thapa, who is not even a differently-abled person.
“The statistics till last April show that social security allowances have been released in the name of 33 persons regularly. After knowing about the matter, we had filed a complaint at the rural municipality,” Shrestha said.
In January 2019, a team of government auditors from the Office of the Auditor General had also found that local units under Barahapokhari Rural Municipality have released social security allowance in the name of dead and migrated citizens.
The family members of Kapil Bahadur Thapa had registered his death at the rural municipality in February, 2018. However, the rural municipality is still releasing allowance in his name.
“We knew that the rural municipality is still releasing allowance in his name,” according to Thapa's grandson Rajan Thapa.
Likewise, the rural municipality is also releasing allowance in the name of Garbi Maya Tamang, according to her daughter-in-law Rita Tamang. “We don't know who is receiving the allowance,” she added.