So near, yet so far. This must be the thought passing through the minds of Dewas residents when they look longingly at the Bank Note Press (BNP), where the new Rs 500 notes are being printed in heaps. In contrast, not a single note of that denomination is to be found in either the banks or the ATMs scattered across the city.
If the people here aren’t lucky enough to get their cash in Rs 100 notes, they end up with Rs 2,000 notes that everybody avoids like the plague.
BNP assistant manager Sanjay Bhavsar said the facility prints two crore (nearly 70% of the total production) `500 notes in a day. They are then filled into containers, and sent to different parts of the country in accordance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directions.
Residents feel they should have been prioritised in this regard, considering that the printing press is located in their neighbourhood. And as is the present trend, their grievances are expressed through social media platforms.
‘Crores of notes are printed in the city, residents getting none’
Civil Lines resident Arun Parmar lamented through his Whatapp post “Diya Taale Andhera” (Darkness under the lamp) that even though crores of currency notes were being printed in the city, its residents were getting none of them.
Another netizen, Nitin Soni, said: “What is the use of having a printing press here, with people we know working in it? We are not benefitting at all. At least BNP employees should be given cash and exchange facilities.”
With the BNP working 24/7 for the last one month, even the weekly offs of its employees have been cancelled. Lunch breaks are taken in a staggered manner to ensure that the machines are never idle.
‘India is banking on us, and this makes us feel proud’
However, not everybody is complaining. Kamal Chauhan, who also had to sacrifice his day offs, said he was happy to work for the nation’s benefit. “Our work is making a difference in the country. India is banking on us, and this makes us feel proud,” he beamed.
Suraj Sharma’s sister-in-law was supposed to get married in December, but his leave was cancelled. “I have no regrets. This is an emergency, and we must deliver,” said Sharma.
Besides Dewas, currency notes are printed at Mysore in Karnataka, Nasik in Maharashtra, and Salboni in West Bengal. The BNP comes under the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited.