And now, lack of mobile telephone coverage in remote areas has turned pension disbursement into a major problem in Adilabad and Kumram Bheem Asifabad districts.
Beneficiaries of ‘old age’, widow and disabled pensions, besides the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme wage seekers, from given areas need to wait until the concerned branch post master finds time to travel to the nearest place with proper signal to receive their pensions.
Pensions are disbursed after beneficiary identification is done on the biometric device which can be operated when connected to relevant server through internet.
Most of the villages like Chichdhari Khanapur, Khandala, Allikori in Adilabad mandal, Narsapur and Salewada in Utnoor mandal and Dodanda-Gattepalli in Indervelli mandal either have no coverage or the signal is too weak for the devices to operate as the habitations are located in difficult territory geographically.
In Adilabad district about 10 far flung villages face this problem while a few others located remotely in KB Asifabad are in the same league. While most of the beneficiaries in Adilabad district assemble at Indervelli mandal headquarters, those from villages like Dimda, Gudem, Gangapur, Babapur and Korsini sometime climb up the local water tanks to access cell signal.
Doke Pullaiah, branch postmaster at Karjelli in Chintalamanepalli mandal of K.B. Asifabad district said that variation in signal strength also causes delays in disbursement of pensions to beneficiaries. “Sometimes the delays give out wrong signals,” he observed.
There are about 300 pensioners who flock to Karjelli for going through the process. Indervelli, however, receives over 1,000 pensioners and the MGNREGS wage seekers at the start of every month.
There could be delays in the timing owing to the branch postmaster being busy with other work. Usually, pensions get disbursed by 25th of every month.