More than 18,000 claims pending, no new beneficiary registered since 2009 in Srinagar
By Nusrat Sidiq
Srinagar: Lack of funds in the state’s Social Welfare Department has led to a massive pile of pending claims whereby thousands of persons entitled to welfare schemes are yet to receive any money.
The fund crunch of the department has only been increasing over the years. The situation is so bad that the department has not registered any new beneficiary for the past 8 years in Srinagar district.
The number of registered beneficiaries in Srinagar district is the same as it was in 2009: 35,000. Of these, more than 18,000 are pending cases that have never received the monthly honorarium of Rs 800-1000 per month.
Aisha Akhter, a widow who lost her husband in 2006 to a road accident, told Kashmir Reader, “I submitted my form here 11 years ago, but I am yet to receive any money. I have no idea what sort of affairs goes on here. I come here only to hear that your case will be done, but it has not happened so far. They give preference to recommendations; that is how the system works here.”
From 2009 to 2016 there has been no change in the data of the social welfare department pertaining to beneficiaries of various schemes in Srinagar district. According to Director of the department, Tariq Ahmed, “In Srinagar alone there are 18,000 pending cases from the year 2009. The problem is that we don’t have funds for these pending cases. What we do is that in the case of death of a beneficiary, we incorporate the next of kin in the pending list. But that is not going to help because the cases are piling up.”
One of the staff members at the department said, “From 2005 there are more than 30,000 cases pending in Srinagar district alone. These numbers may further go up as we are not able to resolve the issue. People who are in distress come here and take forms every single day to ease their burden, which is their right, but these forms remain under file covers that gather dust or are locked in steel almirahs. Rarely are these almirahs opened and few cases receive funds.”