Maharashtra Frames Policy for the Benefit of Senior Citizens

The Maharashtra government has come out with a detailed policy for senior citizens which lists the concessions and benefits they are entitled to.

As per a government resolution (GR) issued this year, police should draw up a list of senior citizens who are living alone (without children) under every police station's limits and visit them once a month to inquire about their well-being.

Minister for Social Justice Rajkumar Badole said the eligible age limit for senior citizens has been brought down from 65 to 60 years.

Every district headquarters will have a helpline where senior citizens can call for help in an emergency, the GR said.

Five percent of the beds in government hospitals attached to medical colleges will be reserved for senior citizens, the GR said.

Private medical colleges and hospitals run by trusts will give 50 percent concession in treatment cost to senior citizens.

The Urban Development Department is "expected to direct" all the civic bodies to extend concessions in municipal taxes to senior citizens, on the lines of similar concessions in Income Tax, the GR stated.

The Housing Department, while approving plans for residential buildings, will ensure that they provide for Western-style toilets, anti-skidding flooring and toilet blocks with handlebars, the GR said.

Additional Floor Space Index (FSI) will be given for old age homes in the residential and non-residential complexes. Four plots of land will be reserved for old age homes in every district.

While allotting flats in housing societies, senior citizens will be given priority in the allocation of ground floor flats, the GR says.

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