Chennai: When a nationalised bank’s manager read an official circular on November 7 regarding beefing up the closed-circuit television network or even hiring a videographer to capture the scene near its cash counters, he had no inkling of what was in store the next day.
“We initially thought the instructions were for increasing security. We asked an agency to urgently install two more CCTVs. We realised the actual import of the instruction only when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes,” the bank manager told IANS on condition of anonymity.
“Today, every person who enters a bank and the amount he deposits are captured on a camera. Further, we enter the details in the banking system. There is also documentary evidence,” he added.
“If the government wants, it can now track a person. So, if people think they can exchange Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes on behalf of somebody else without detection, they are totally wrong,” he said.
The official said he had heard people talking of offers of Rs 400 commission to anyone who exchanged invalid notes totalling Rs 4,000.
“If the government wants to track them or check bank accounts that suddenly became active, it can do so. We also send daily reports to higher authorities on the amount of cash exchanged,” he said.
Meanwhile, banks in Tamil Nadu were open as usual as the state didn’t declare a holiday on Gurpurab, which marks the birth anniversary of first Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev.
However, many automated teller machines dried up soon after they were filled.
But bank branches continued to exchange Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes with new Rs 2,000 or old Rs 100 notes.
Queried about other banking operations, the official said everybody was running after cash for the last two days.
“Today (Monday), it is a holiday in Mumbai and so major markets are closed. The problem may crop up tomorrow (Tuesday). But, tomorrow is another day,” he quipped.
First Published | 14 November 2016 6:20 PM