Govt machinery steps in to insulate Kanpur train victims from demonetisation | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Govt machinery steps in to insulate Kanpur train victims from demonetisation

Authorities in Kanpur and Patna scrambled to protect victims of the Indore-Patna Express derailment and their kin from the effects of demonetisation, stepping in with cash on Sunday.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2016 01:15 IST
Haider Naqvi and Nandini
Rescued passengers from the 14 coaches of an overnight passenger train that rolled off the track near Pukhrayan village in Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh, early on November 20, 2016.
Rescued passengers from the 14 coaches of an overnight passenger train that rolled off the track near Pukhrayan village in Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh, early on November 20, 2016. (HT Photo)

Authorities in Kanpur and Patna scrambled to protect victims of the Indore-Patna Express derailment and their kin from the effects of demonetisation, stepping in to facilitate cash availability on Sunday.

The Kanpur administration asked the Bank of Baroda to depute a business correspondent at Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital to help the attendants of those injured in exchanging currency.

Read| 129 dead as Indore-Patna Express derails, worst tragedy in 6 years

Kanpur district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said though the government was bearing the cost of treatment, people might require cash. “An ATM near the hospital is also being reserved for people coming from other places.”

A victim’s body trapped amid the debris after 14 coaches of an overnight passenger train rolled off the track near Pukhrayan village in Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh, on November 20, 2016. (AP)

In Patna, the State Bank of India (SBI) set up a temporary counter at the railway station to exchange currency so that victims and their family members do not face any cash crunch.

By the time the counter was set up in the afternoon, family members of many victims had left for Kanpur. A special train carrying the traumatised passengers of the Indore-Patna Express is expected to reach Patna around 11pm on Sunday, and the SBI anticipates its counter to come to their aid then.

“We are carrying around Rs 10 lakh cash to exchange demonetised currency. Besides, we have also put up a point of sale (POS) machine, which will enable victims and their family members to withdraw up to Rs 2,000 cash with their credit and debit cards. There will not be any shortage of cash whatsoever when they reach here,” said Shashi Choudhary, assistant general manager of SBI secretariat branch. “We will entertain only those authorised by the district administration to exchange currency. Though the limit is Rs 2,000 per head, in special cases, we will allow overdrawal if it is authorised by the district administration.”

Read | Cracked tracks may have caused Indore-Patna train to derail, probe ordered

Meanwhile, minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha dismissed talk that he had distributed Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes among the injured at the accident site. He said money was distributed among the needy but the notes were new ones. “This is a rumour. You all need to be sensitive and positive in approach,” Sinha told reporters.

Two injured female passengers, Aashmeen Mishra and Malti Sharma, admitted to district hospital in Mati-Akbarpur of Kanpur Dehat district said they had received old currency.

According to them, some men came to them and gave them Rs 2,000 each. A few of these notes were in the recalled 500 denomination, they said. Mishra and Sharma said the men asked them to sign on a paper, but took their thumb impressions because they were in no condition to put their signatures.

Officials said they were not able to confirm who gave the women the invalid currency notes.

Also read | Cops create green corridor to rush 300 injured to hospitals in Kanpur train tragedy