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Phailin cripples banking services in worst hit Ganjam

Branches of PNB are yet to resume operations

Nirmalya Behera  |  Bhubaneswar 

Cyclone Phailin

Banking services in Ganjam, the district hit hardest by the Phailin storm remained paralyzed even five days after the cyclone hit the state's shores on last Saturday.

The branches of Punjab Bank (PNB), the second largest public sector lender, are yet to resume operations.

“Due to unavailability of power and generators, we have not yet started banking services in Berhampur. The services have been hit since exchange lines and VSAT (very small aperture terminals) have become non-functional”, said A K Patnaik, assistant general manager, PNB (Odisha).

Out of six branches of PNB in Ganjam district, only five branches are operational but ATMs are unable to dispense money.

Similarly, Karnataka based PSU bank Syndicate Bank is yet to start its operations in Berhampur which runs two branches and two ATMs in the city.

“Non availability of connectivity has hit the banking services but the branch at Army Air Defence College has started operations”, said K T Rai, zonal head (Odisha), Syndicate Bank.

State Bank of India (SBI), the most networked bank, is making efforts to restore services of its branches in Ganjam district.

“Banking operations have been restored in 62 out of 65 branches in Ganjam district”, said Sanjay Kumar Magoo, general manager (Network-II), local head office of SBI, Bhubaneswar.

As per our business continuity plan, the staff of non-operational branches can start providing their services at the nearby branches, he added.

However, restoration of ATM services of SBI in the Berhampur region is on the slow lane.

As many as 49 ATMs in the region were unable to dole out ready cash for connectivity issues while 15 others were not able to dispense cash due to temporary problems (as on 08:30 am today). There are 98 SBI ATMs in the region.

The Ganjam district has plunged into darkness after the very severe cyclonic storm Phailin made a land fall there on October 12 ravaging the power infrastructure completely.

First Published: Thu, October 17 2013. 20:26 IST