In a shocking incident, a woman from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh lost over Rs 18 lakh in cash savings after termites infested and destroyed the currency notes stored in her bank locker. The tragic discovery highlights the need for awareness regarding proper storage of valuables in bank lockers.

Savings Stored for Daughter’s Wedding Turn to Dust

Alka Pathak, a small business owner who runs a tuition center in Moradabad, had stored Rs 18 lakh in cash in her locker at Bank of Baroda’s Ashiana branch in October 2021. This was her painstakingly accumulated savings for her daughter’s upcoming wedding.

When bank officials recently contacted Pathak to come update her KYC details and renew her locker agreement, she was horrified to find that the entire cash amount had been reduced to mere dust due to termite infestation inside the locker.

Also Read: Domino’s Delivers to Stranded Bengaluru Commuters Amid Massive Traffic Jam

Similar Incidents Reported Previously

This shocking case in UP comes close on the heels of a similar incident in February 2022 when a woman, Sunita Mehta, discovered Rs 2 lakh cash savings destroyed by termites in her Punjab National Bank locker in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Such incidents clearly point to the need for greater awareness regarding precautions and due diligence required when using bank lockers for storing valuables.

RBI Guidelines Prohibit Storing Cash in Lockers

According to Reserve Bank of India regulations, storing cash or currency notes in bank lockers is strictly prohibited. The locker agreement terms state that lockers can only be used for storing legitimate valuables like jewellery and important documents. Storing cash, weapons, contrabands or hazardous materials in lockers is unlawful.

However, Pathak claims she was unaware of this rule against keeping cash in lockers. The bank administration is investigating the matter and has sent a report to the Bank of Baroda headquarters.

Also Read: Fire Breaks Out at Girls’ Paying Guest in Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar

Compensation Unclear in Such Cases

While the bank’s locker policy states that compensation up to 100 times the annual locker rent shall be paid for loss of contents due to theft, burglary, fire or fraud, the policy does not specify coverage in case of damage due to pests.

The agreement only states that the bank shall not be liable for any damage or loss arising from “natural calamities or Act of God.” It remains unclear whether Pathak will receive any compensation for her shocking loss.

Need for Public Awareness on Locker Usage

This unfortunate incident highlights the need for banks to spread more awareness regarding dos and don’ts of using lockers. Customers should also exercise due caution and care when storing valuables in lockers. Periodic inspection of locker contents is advisable.

The RBI must also consider more explicit guidelines for compensation in such unprecedented cases where huge savings are destroyed due to circumstances beyond a customer’s control. Public sector banks especially need more transparency in locker management and security against pest and dampness to prevent loss of people’s precious lifelong savings.

Also Read: Delhi Cop’s Quick Thinking Prevents Purse Snatchers From Escaping


Follow Us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Flipboard | Google News