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Customers panic as banks sealed

104 banks, 60 nursing homes, 50,000 others, including showrooms will be sealed; ATMs remain unaffected.
By Darpan Singh | Hindustan Times, Noida
UPDATED ON FEB 02, 2012 02:29 AM IST

Thousands of customers had a torrid time on Wednesday as eight banks were sealed and 83 others shut. Because of lack of clarity on shifting plans, they fear transaction delays and are particularly worried about the handling and safety of their valuables when lockers are shifted along with other bank assets.

Arun Kumar, representative of all affected banks, said, “The sealing drive has affected lakhs of customers and thousands of locker holders.”

The authority has announced a scheme of plots for banks, but it has failed to cut much ice. "The process of shifting will take time. We also need to see if getting plots on lease and going for construction is cost-effective for us," said Kumar.

And, even if banks are relocated anytime soon, customers will still face problems.

Sunil Kumar Jain, a customer with Vijaya Bank, said, “In commercial sectors, we will have to pay for parking. The longer distances will consume more time.”

Kapilesh Pandey, a resident of Sector 19, said, “It will be very difficult, especially for women, to leave home and travel long distances for banking work.”

“There’s no need to panic. Noida already has 70-odd banks in commercial areas. Customers would not face much problem. We have announced a scheme of 74 plots for 104 banks currently operating out of residential premises,” said authority’s CEO SK Dwivedi.

“We will allot plots. Construction will be the responsibility of banks. Some banks have said they need ready-to-move-in properties. But the court has ruled if banks need more time for construction they can approach the court again,” the CEO said. The CEO said all the 74 plots were located across the city in commercial sectors.

Roughly, 104 banks, 60 nursing homes and 50,000 other establishments, including more than 250 showrooms, will face action. ATMs will remain unaffected. Commercial establishments in several residential sectors, including 12, 22, 19, 20, 27, 40, 41 and 55, may face action. Industrial sectors where sealing can be carried out are: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 57, 58, 59, 60 and 63.

Meanwhile, chaos marked the entire day as owners of commercial establishments downed their shutters and landlords (of residential premises) erected walls to imply they were putting their properties back to the prescribed land use to avoid cancellation of lease agreements.

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