Ashok Agrawal, 48, was looking forward to his daughter’s marriage, confident he had money in the bank. But the Chhattisgarh resident hadn’t bargained for the temerity of termites.
The pests have eaten up and damaged Rs 1.5 lakh Agrawal had kept in a steel locker of UCO Bank in Pension Bada area of the state capital four months ago.
Now, the small liquid detergent producer-seller is oscillating between fury and despondence because the bank — while admitting a termite attack inside its lockers has never happened earlier — has told him it cannot be held responsible for what happened.
“I was shocked when I discovered a few days ago what termites had done to my money. I took the damaged, perforated notes to the bank authorities, but the officials said they were not to blame,” Agrawal said on Sunday. “If the bank disowns responsibility, then why was I charged an annual fee of Rs 885 for the locker?”
He added, “Now I have no option but to take a loan for my daughter’s marriage. But I am prepared to fight the case in the consumer court for compensation.”
The bank’s manager, Das Kanti Sahu, said Agrawal had kept his money wrapped in old newspaper and that could be the source of the termites. “Why is it so that termites were found only in his locker while the adjacent ones remained untouched?
The decision to compensate him will be taken based on instructions from higher authorities.”