TURA | Oct 14, 2019:

A complaint has been raised by the residents of Kharkutta in North Garo Hills (NGH) over various issues which are being faced by the local residents.

The matter came into light after a UDP president, Anand Marak paid a visit to the bank where it was known that
account holders, for over a year and a half have been deprived of many banking privileges, including the withdrawal of money, updation of passbooks among others. The customers had highlighted their plight in the hope of a solution.

“There are firstly operating with limited staff making daily banking operations extremely slow. For people coming from far off villages, this is extremely distressing as they don’t even get transport back to their villages after spending their entire day at the bank and they have to come back the next day if their work is not done that day. For daily wage earners, this is extreme torture,” said Marak.

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Further what has irked the villagers is the limited amount of money from their accounts. Villagers said that they could only withdraw between Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 per day. On extremely good days, the limit goes up to Rs 5000.

“This is not enough for a family to last a month which means that they have to make multiple visits to the branch leading to the same problem they faced due to low staff,” added the UDP leader.

With most account holders also being job card holders and daily wage earners, the visits paid to the banks to resolve their banking problems has been taking a toll.

Marak stated that the biggest problem faced by SBI customers of Kharkutta is the fact that they have not been able to update their bank pass books. This has meant that customers are unaware of the status of their accounts and how much money has come or gone out of it.

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“When we asked the bank authorities they said that the machine has been ordered and was on its way. It has been more than 2 months so we are not sure if the same machine is being sent by bullock cart of through normal transport,” said Marak.

Further the villagers have also expressed doubt that their accounts are possibly being manipulated with as they are unable to see what is happening. Interestingly when asked to update the passbook, the tellers have been writing their account balance with pens!

“We just want all doubts to be cleared and the bank to allow the withdrawal of money as per the necessity of bank account holders.

“The account holders may be poor, but they are customers of the bank all the same. There should be equal treatment for all,” stated Marak.


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