KHOTANG, Nov 26: A committee formed to study the misuse in the social security allowance distribution in Barahapokhari Rural Municipality is in the final stage of investigation.
In January 2019, a team of government auditors from the Office of the Auditor General had also found that the local units under Barahapokhari Rural Municipality have released social security allowance in the name of dead and migrated citizens. A six-member committee led by Gomadevi Magar, vice-chairperson of the rural municipality, was formed to investigate the case.
According to the committee, it is in the final stage of investigation now. “The committee has already carried out its investigations in four wards of the rural municipality. The committee will conclude the investigation in the next few days,” Magar said, adding that the report of the investigation will come in a few days.
Barahapokhari Rural Municipality of Khotang district has been releasing social security allowance in the name of deceased senior citizens and widows, the locals complained. According to a complaint filed by more than 50 locals, Barahapokhari Rural Municipality-1 has been releasing allowances 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 allowances in the names 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 allowances have been released in the names 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 places such as Biratnagar and Udayapur, among others.
The migrated citizens have been reportedly getting allowance from both places – from Khotang and from the places they have migrated to.
According to sources, the rural municipality has been releasing the 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 names of 33 persons regularly. After knowing about the matter, we had filed a complaint at the rural municipality,” Shrestha said.
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.