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Read: What happens to your Rs 500 , Rs 1000 demonetised notes?

Ever wondered what happened to your demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes? The old currency is being converted into cardboard!

india Updated: Dec 02, 2016 11:00 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times
Demonetisation,RBI,Narendra Modi
Briquettes made of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.(Tanbir Dhaliwal)

Ever wondered what happened to your demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes? The old currency is being converted into cardboard!

Heaps of old currency are shredded by the Reserve Bank of India and are being converted into cardboard, stationery items and souvenirs in factory based in Lucknow.

On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced invalidation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and the very next day, people started making long queues outside banks to deposit the old currency.

The announcement by the PM regarding demonetisation has taken 1,800 crore Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes out of circulation in one go.

Within days, bank chests were overflowing with old currency. “We check the old notes for forgery and then make neat bundles of it and send them to the RBI,” said an official from a private bank.

At the Reserve Bank of India, Chandigarh, demonetised currency received from more than 13,000 bank branches undergoes currency verification and processing system. Here the notes are verified again.

“From this system, the notes are then automatically transferred to shredding and briquetting system, where they are turned into small strips and are compressed into thick briquettes of different sizes. The entire system is computerised,” said an RBI official.

These briquettes or compressed blocks are then lifted by a vendor from the RBI to a paper manufacturing factory. “We mix chemicals and the compressed blocks are converted into a pulp. The paper pulp is then used to make cardboards, brown paper, egg trays, and other stationery items,” said the vendor.

“This is a comparatively new environment friendly method for disposing of old currency notes. Twenty years ago, the old currency or soiled notes were incinerated. But then, it was not good for environment. Hence it was decided to go for more environment friendly method,” said an RBI official.

Earlier, briquettes made out of old notes were used for land filling as well. The RBI shreds soiled and mutilated notes on regular basis.

“Earlier, we used to make souvenirs from shredded currency. We are thinking of starting the process again of making souvenirs,” said the official.

First Published: Dec 02, 2016 10:53 IST