Bengaluru: The process of removing withdrawn bank notes and refilling ATM machines with the new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 notes has banks and cash logistic firms on edge.
Rituraj Sinha, president of the Cash Logistics Association of India, told The Hindu that the scale of the exercise is unprecedented.
In the past 15 days, the busiest people in the city have been those who work for cash logistics companies, who were unaware of the scale of the exercise until the last minute. Security is the key concern as every day as crores of cash are being transported not just in Bengaluru but across the State.
“It is not our job to provide security to cash vans and it’s not feasible to do so either,” said a senior police officer with the internal security division. “However, we are posting personnel at key spots, including ATMs and banks, and have increased patrolling.”
With reports of ATMs running out of cash within hours of being filled, there has been massive pressure on logistics companies and banks to meet the demand for new notes. However, there is no increase in the number of people engaged in the job.
Sources in private logistics firms said that the number of employees as well as the infrastructure available has remained the same over the past three years. “This has put a great strain on these employees who are working overtime,” said the head of the State unit of a private logistics firm.
A senior official with a major cash logistics firm said that smaller firms are the worst hit. “They often outsource the actual transportation of cash in order to save costs. But outsourcing of business in such a risky sector is not advisable,” said a police officer.
The November 23 robbery seems to have been the result of precisely such an arrangement. “It highlights the need for increased focus on recruiting with mandatory background checks and police verification,” the officer added.