PTCL pensioners inconveniencedArchive
HYDERABAD: Harried pensioners, mostly elderly men and women, were greatly inconvenienced during verification of their particulars by the Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust (PTET) at the General Post Office (GPO) here on Thursday.
Hundreds of pensioners were made to rush to the GPO after receiving cell phone messages from PTET, requiring them to get their particulars verified or risk stoppage of pension from March 1.
At the GPO, the elderly who could not move even without assistance were made to wait in a narrow lobby where they had no drinking water facility and some could not sit up for long and laid prostrate on the floor till they were called by PTET staff.
The GPO disbursed pension among 1,700 PTCL retirees who turn up in the office every month to receive pension. “I have been here since 11am and waiting for my turn,” said elderly Jaseem Ahmed, adding the GPO authorities should have made some arrangements in anticipation of huge rush of pensioners.
PTET general manager Farooq Ahmed confirmed over phone from Lahore that the verification process could be extended for a week so that no one could miss it as its failure would lead to stoppage of pension. He said that he was not aware of mismanagement.
Pakistan Post’s director information technology, Farrukh Bashir, who had come from Islamabad, said that GPO could not be blamed for mismanagement. “PTET called all the pensioners on its own who get pension from sub-offices other than GPO,” he said.
PTET launched the first phase of verification in Karachi in December to collect and update pensioners’ data and in the second phase, it was being carried out in Hyderabad.
A GPO official said that PTET staff did not mention in their correspondence with GPO that they would disburse pension as well which lengthened the process.
A PTET official said that their teams could continue work for 10 days in order to cover each and every pensioner. Arrangements would be made for making the process comfortable for pensioners, he said.
Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2016