Do not exchange the notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 with lower-denomination currency — these were instructions issued on Tuesday night to the management at the Mansa Devi temple in Panchkula. Since Wednesday morning, though, people have, rather than getting these exchanged from banks, have started donating the old notes at the shrine.
“Around midnight on Tuesday, I received calls from the chief secretary and deputy commissioner to ensure that no one could get exchanged the notes with the donated money,” said chief executive officer (CEO), Mansa Devi Shrine Board, VG Goel. “I told them not to worry and sent them pictures of the locked boxes.”
“But we cannot stop people from donating these notes. There was a spike in the number of people offering Rs 500 notes,” said priest Surender Mohan.
The temple collects around Rs 5 lakh daily and deposits in the bank the same day. But, as banks were closed on Wednesday, no counting took place.
“There are no clear instructions on donations at religious places. So, we are accepting the notes,” added the CEO. However, donors in these cases are not getting receipts. For payments, the management used cheques.
DC Garima Mittal said, “We sent the sub-divisional magistrate to the temple and are monitoring it through security cameras,” said. About donations, she said, “Even if donations are coming in demonetised currency, these will go to the board’s bank account.”