Post offices in West Bengal will deliver pension at the home of people who are 80-years old or above during the lockdown period, a senior official of the postal department said.
For others pension will be disbursed from the post offices from April 3, the official said. "We have decided to deliver pension right at the doorsteps of citizens who are 80-years and above or those who are infirm", chief postmaster general (CPMG) of West Bengal circle Goutam Bhattacharya said.
He said delivery of pension at home will start from April 4 onwards and those who will be the beneficiaries have already been intimated in this regard.
"This is an extraordinary situation for which we have taken this measure. For others, pension will be disbursed from April 3 as the previous two days fall under annual closing", he said. Those coming to post offices for pension withdrawals, cash deposits will have to maintain social distancing as per government guidelines and hand sanitizers will also be provided.
People delivering pension at home will be given adequate security to avert any untoward incident, he said. Bhattacharya said the main priority of the postal department is to see that there are no problems regarding cash withdrawals from savings accounts.
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"Not all the post offices will remain open during the lockdown period due to lack of manpower as many of our staff come from neighbouring districts, but the major ones like head and sub-post offices will be kept open", he added.
The ATMs of the post offices, which are inter-operable with banks, will remain open across the state. The postal department has also given priority for transport of medical kits and other related parcels to other places."Since trains are not running, we are sending these parcels by road wherever possible. For long distances, the items are being transported by cargo flights of Air India, Spicejet and Blue Dart", he said.