Lockers locked down: How Delhi sealing dealt a body blow to a wedding
For decades, Geeta Sobti had been dreaming of the day her daughter Vasundhara would get married. But, days before the big day on February 5, the Sobti family’s plans were dealt a blow as they were told they cannot take out their jewellery from the bank locker because a section of the bank had been sealed.
“I have been saving the jewellery since 1989 so that I could gift it to my daughter on her wedding. When I went to the bank on Thursday, I was told that the basement where the lockers have been kept has been sealed and we cannot take out our jewellery,” said Geeta Sobti, 50, who said she has made five visits in two days to the Punjab National Bank branch along with her daughter, an employee in a private company.
The Rajouri Garden branch of Punjab National Bank is one of the many banks whose lockers, located in the basement, were sealed by the civic bodies as part of the ongoing sealing drive against misuse of residential premises for commercial purposes.
Two days before her wedding, Vasundhara, 25, is the worried to-be bride. She alleges that the bank officials, instead of cooperating, are making her and her mother go from pillar to post. On Friday, she visited the bank twice, only to be told that the lockers can be opened only on Monday — the day of the wedding.
“People keep their jewellery in lockers for safety reasons. It’s unbelievable to know that we cannot access our lockers. The jewellery includes not only my engagement ring, but also many family ornaments that my mother wished me to wear at my wedding,” said Vasundhara, a Pashchim Vihar resident.
Customers of many banks across the city are faced with a similar situation where they could not access the lockers that have been sealed. The lockers can only be desealed after the orders by the panel which says that banks need to approach them.
“When a bank approaches us, we will allow the temporary desealing so that they can shift the cash and jewellery to other places. We do not want to punish people for someone else’s fault,” said a member of the monitoring committee.
Bank officials said they are pursuing the case with municipal corporations to end the trouble that customers faced.
“We have moved a file to the municipal corporation. It will be taken up soon before the monitoring committee allows us to deseal the premises where the lockers are situated. It will take a day or two,” said AP Singh, manager of the PNB branch in Rajouri Garden.