Tender process may delay compliance with police directive on security
Four days after a woman was attacked in a city ATM, banks are scrambling to meet the Sunday evening deadline set by the State to increase surveillance at their ATM kiosks in the city.
“You will start seeing guards everywhere in Bangalore from tomorrow,” round the clock, said a senior official of Corporation Bank, the bank the victim, Jyothi Uday worked for.
“Even before the attack happened, Corporation Bank was independently in the process of putting security guards across its 200 ATMs in Bangalore. We were completing the tender process and in fact, we were due to open the financial proposals on November 19, the day the attack happened,” the official, who did not wish to be identified, told The Hindu. “We have issued the orders to the service provider. The guards will be in place by 2 p.m. on Sunday,” the official said.
State Bank of Mysore hired ATM guards only at night until now, but has started stationing them during the day too, across its 140 ATM locations.
Apart from having security guards at all ATMs, the directive says ATMs should have CCTV cameras inside the kiosk and at the entrance, and an alarm system. However, the general view among public sector bank officials is that all this cannot be done overnight, as a tendering process has to be followed.
Ravindra Bhandary, general manager, Bangalore Metro Circle, Canara Bank, said they were focussed on placing external cameras, as guards were already stationed at all their ATMs as early as six months back. The bank has 508 ATMs, the largest number in the city.
Mr. Bhandary admitted that meeting the deadline was a challenge as banks must call tenders and recruit from among agencies approved by the Directorate General Resettlement (of ex-service personnel) under the Ministry of Defence.
For Karnataka Bank too, the issue is the external cameras. Its chief general manager M.S. Mahabaleshwar Bhat said, “We issued directives yesterday to all managers to install cameras outside the  ATM kiosks, which, by the way, are grouted to prevent their removal. We have to examine the new rule about alarms as they can be misused. As for the guards, they come on three shifts at all locations. We also have two cameras within each kiosk in each location.”
Syndicate Bank declined to respond.
In other cities
Besides Bangalore, police chiefs in Mysore, Shimoga and Belgaum too were insisting on adopting the new ATM security rules, said N. Parthasarathy, general manager, risk management and IT, SBM.