The pensioners of Belagavi Cantonment Board (BCB), who have been frustratingly waiting for 13 years for their revised pensions as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, have finally had enough. They plan to go on a hunger strike if their demands remain unfulfilled any longer.
All the BCB employees who have retired since January 2006, are eligible for the revised pension, which they have yet to receive.
Despite letters being sent to all the relevant authorities, including the prime minister’s office, pensioners’ welfare department, principal director of defence estates, director general of defence estates as well as the headquarters, Southern Command, no action has been taken to make their pensions available to them.
More than 50 retired employees( most of whom are cleaners), of which six have even died, are eligible for the revised pension w.e.f 2006. When approached, BCB actually tells these pensioners that it is waiting for the orders from headquarters. This is unfair, since all the cantonments that fall under the Southern Command have already implemented the revised pension long back, except BCB.
Now, the Union government has sanctioned the implementation of the revised pension as per the 7th Pay Commission, the order for which was received in 2017. But even this is pending. Over 150 pensioners should be benefitting from this recent revision.
The grievances of the retired BCB staff do not end here. They have not been receiving dearness allowance since January last year. This again, they have been told is because the orders for the same are yet to come from headquarters!
Clearly, a stir is justified after such a long wait of more than a decade.