Wants alternatives to Aadhaar cards for the elderly

The city Corporation council has decided to request the State government to provide alternative options to senior citizens who are required to take Aadhaar cards to avail themselves of their pension through the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT).

The request is being forwarded as many of the elderly are finding it physically stressful to queue up at Akshaya centres to apply for the card.

The council will also request the extension of the last date for those who are able to apply for the cards. The dates are proposed to be extended till December 31. The decision was taken at a council meeting convened on Friday.

The issue of funds for insurance cover and maintenance of vehicles used for waste collection by Kudumbasree sanitation workers also came up for discussion at the council.

In a calling attention motion, N.C. Moyinkutty of the Socialist Janata Democratic said the community development societies (CDS) were getting only a meagre income from the monthly connections from households.

“The workers have not been given gloves, raincoats, or medicines by the Corporation this year. The maintenance of the vehicles and the insurance premium is taking a huge toll on their small income levels,” Mr. Moyinkutty said.

In her reply, Janamma Kunjunni, chairperson of the standing committee on health, said that as per the agreement with the CDS, the entire cost of insurance and maintenance of the vehicles was to be borne by the units. But an exemption was made last year when the Corporation paid a part of the amount considering the financial situation of the units.

Mayor A.K. Premajam said a proposal to amend the agreement so that the Corporation could make the payment for the CDS units would be sent to the State Social Security Mission.

In what was an uncharacteristically peaceful council meeting, the only sour note was struck when the Opposition members accused the health standing committee chairperson of corruption in allowing the illegal reopening of a chicken stall at Karapparamba. The stall, which was closed down as per a council decision three years ago as it was found to be located at a place where such an establishment was not permissible, was found to have started functioning recently even though the ban was in force.

The Opposition accused her of taking a bribe to allow the shop to function. In her reply, Ms. Kunjunni said she was unaware of the shop reopening again, and strict action would be taken to close it down as soon as possible. She criticised the Opposition members for levelling baseless charges.

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