The shadow of the Kodagu floods and landslips loomed over the two-day DefencePension Adalat, which got under way here on Thursday.

There are hundreds of ex-servicemen and their surviving relatives living in and around the Kodagu-Dakshina Kannada region, which have been the worst-affected regions in the State during the recent floods. As a result, many could not attend the adalat.

The Additional Controller General of Defence Accounts, Sanjiv Mittal, said it was unfortunate that the disasterhad forced many ex-servicemen to stay away from the programme. He urged the officials to consider the feasibility of holding another pension adalat in December, as demanded by many stakeholders.

Mr. Mittalalso said that he would write to the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA), Allabahad to open special cell to deal with the grievances of ex-servicemen from Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada affected by the floods.

He said there would also be mini-adalats in each defence pension-disbursing office on a quarterly basis, and the Army had come forward to conduct such adalats in areas with great concentration of ex-servicemen, with the PCDA, Allahabad, lending its staff.

According to Vekare Ex-servicemen’s Trust, there could be thousands of ex-servicemen in Kodagu district alone, and none of them could make it to the programme as they were either fighting the ravages of flood or assisting their relatives and friends to cope with the disaster.

The pension adalat was held under the auspices of the PCDA, Allahabad, in association with the Department of Sainik Welfare and Resettlement.

In all, over 250 cases were received on the first day, with most pertaining to anomalies in pension calculation. Brig. (retd) Sajjan, Director, Sainik Welfare Board, Karnataka, suggested that the authorities should overlook minor spelling mistakes of the claimants and not reject the applications. He also suggested auto-generation of acknowledgement through SMS with a unique number so as to track the application.

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