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Action sought against SBI branch closure

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TURA: Villagers and farmers from remote Gambegre village in West Garo Hills have decided to approach the deputy commissioner to demand stern action against banking officials from the State Bank of India for allegedly keeping their branch closed on the last working day before Christmas.
The A’chik Traders Association and the Hill Peoples’ Farmers have taken strong exception to the move by the Gambegre branch officials of the SBI to suddenly shut down the branch on the 22nd of December.
“A day before the closure the branch officials claimed that the bank machines were not working because there was no link and they decided to stop their service. Scores of customers, mostly farmers, residing in and around the Gambegre C&RD block who wanted to withdraw their savings and their salaries to celebrate Christmas were unable to do so because of the decision of the bank to close shop,” alleged Talling M Sangma, president of the A’chik Traders Association.
As a result of the closure many returned home empty handed while the fortunate few who could make it all the way to Tura, a distance of approximately 18 kms, had to frantically search for the few working ATM machines and stand in long queues just to withdraw their money.
The farmers and traders associations in Gambegre are urging upon the district administration to take action against the ‘irresponsible’ banking officials of the State Bank of India.
It is worth mentioning that the banking system had virtually collapsed in Tura in the run up to the Christmas celebration with many ATMs either closed or empty of any cash. To make matters worse, many salaried employees did not get their money deposited into their accounts in time for the celebrations.
Despite this being a regular feature no solution has been sought to this annual problem which has affected many families in the Garo Hills.

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