Sunday, 24 April 2011

Termites eat up Rs 1 crore at SBI branch in Uttar Pradesh

Barabanki (UP), 2011 April 21: Currency notes worth over Rs 1 crore were reduced to dust in the chest of State Bank of India (SBI) in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district, officials said on Thursday. The mutilated notes were found in the chest on Wednesday. Apparently, termites ate the stacks of notes. The officials at the bank remained non-committal about the amount of cash destroyed. However they estimated that the loss of currencies could be worth over Rs 1 crore.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been informed about the incident and anti-termite treatment was underway at the branch. Branch Manager Sunil Dwivedi said, "I am not sure where the termites came from, but as you can see this building is quite old. Anti-termite treatment is now underway."

Lucknow, April 22: Though the exact amount of loss arising out of termites eating up currency notes inside a steel chest at a State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh is yet to be quantified, it will be borne solely by the SBI itself and there would be no loss to the public at large. This was stated by Amarendra Sahoo, regional director of Reserve Bank of India, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

Talking to FE, Sahoo said that the joint team of senior RBI and SBI officials, which had visited the bank in Barabanki, has found that though mutilated, most of the notes eaten up by the termites had their numbers intact. “Those notes in which the numbers are intact, will be replicated by the RBI while the fate of those which have been mutilated beyond repair will be adjudicated once the investigation is complete,” said Sahoo, adding “there would be no loss to the public. The bank will bear the loss, if any.”

It may be mentioned that in an almost outlandish case, aghast bank officials on Wednesday found termites to have made a hearty meal out of currency notes worth approximately Rs 1 crore kept inside the strong room at a SBI branch in Fatehpur block of Barabank district near Lucknow. A team of senior officials of the SBI and RBI visited the branch on Thursday to investigate the matter. SBI AGM Geeta Tripathi, who headed the inquiry team said after the visit prima facie it appeared that the notes in the currency chest had been damaged by termites as the branch was housed in a very old building which was ridden by termites. Cases of files and furniture being damaged due to this malice had already been brought to the notice of the management and efforts were on to relocate the bank at some other place.

The SBI, had in a press release late on Thursday night clarified that “no discrepancy has been detected in the currency chest except that some notes have been found to be slightly damaged. We don't expect any loss arising out of this and all corrective measures have been taken”.

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