The Punjab National Bank branches in the district are not secure enough to prevent robberies of the kind that took place at one of their branches in Kochar Market where four men walked away with `15 lakh in broad daylight on Monday. Around 50% of all 103 branches have no security guards deployed in the premises.
The robbery was a cakewalk for the four men in the busy Kockar Market. However, the bank has ‘woken up’ from its slumber and appointed a fulltime guard. Oddly enough, bank officials blamed it on staff crunch in PNB branches. They said they were unable to find competent recruits.
BN Mishra, PNB circle head, said, “We have around 103 branches in Ludhiana and Moga district, half of which have security guards. In the absence of competent retired army men in the region, we could not fill vacant posts for security guards. We are in the process to recruit guards at the earliest and in about a month’s time will have guards in all sensitive areas of the district. When it comes to bank robberies, Punjab does not feature as a highly sensitive zone in the country.”