Ensure strict adherence to social distancing guidelines: DC Srinagar to banks

SRINAGAR: Deputy Commissioner and Chairman District Disaster Management Authority Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary Tuesday convened a meeting of all banks to review their functioning amidst the prevailing situation due to COVID-19 epidemic.

DC Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary convened a meeting of all banks to review their functioning amidst the prevailing situation due to COVID-19 epidemic

The DC assessed the functioning of banks and their adherence to guidelines and reviewed the continued logistical support that the administration has been providing to banks in the district to enable them to operate throughout this prevailing situation.

The meeting was briefed about the initiatives and measures that the district administration has taken to ensure uninterrupted operation of banks and the role of banks in providing services and support to the people in the current extraordinary circumstances.

Speaking on the occasion the DC stressed that the banks must ensure that all safety measures are adhered to while providing essential banking services to the people. He expressed concerns about reports of gatherings and large queues outside some banks and stated in clear terms that it cannot be accepted and that banks must deal with it and not allow it.

During the meeting the bankers were advised to take proper corrective measures and put forth a comprehensive mechanism for overcoming instances where guidelines are being violated or not adhered to.

Dr Shahid said the administration will continue to provide all support in this regard as required. He asked for details of further requirements if any assuring that all further logistical support as required will be provided in order to ensure functioning of banks as per guidelines and the SOP.

Bankers and other concerned officers also spoke on the occasion. It was informed that all banks are strictly offering only the basic essential services to people adding that the institution has invoked the emergency measure called Business Continuity Plan to ensure minimal employee and customer footprint.

Zonal Head J&K Bank while speaking on the occasion informed that in view of the prevailing situation banks are offering important social support services to people adding that various important schemes and payments necessitate functioning of the banks. He said DBT benefits, PM Garib Kalyan Scheme payments and overdrafts facility to PMJDY account holders among other such social welfare schemes that banks have been facilitating are the main part of operation of banks at present.

It was said that misinformation spread amongst the masses regarding opening of PMJDY accounts and benefits into such accounts resulted in huge gatherings near branches. Branch heads and other concerned bankers present on the occasion assured that adequate safety measures are being strictly followed by all employees in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection.

District coordinators of banks present on the occasion briefed the DC about the measures taken for social distancing and the staff strength operating during the prevailing situation. The banks expressed satisfaction with support provided by the district administration for enabling them to operate.

Some of the instructions issued in the meeting were that banks will not open in red zones and that all operational banks will prevent gatherings within and outside branch premises and ensure strict adherence to social distancing guidelines. It was instructed that banks will only offer basic essential banking services and that those services will remain uninterrupted.

It is notable that the district administration has provided requisite support to all banks for their smooth functioning. This includes transport facilities for movement of staff among other forms of support.

Dr Shahid said further support can be provided if required. He said security for crowd management to ensure adherence to social distancing can also be provided if required.

Lead District Manager, Zonal Heads of different banks, District Coordinators of all banks of the district among others attended the meeting.

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