Tribals are likely to be greatly benefited by the first automated teller machine (ATM) machine that was the inaugurated at Semmedu atop Kolli Hills on Thursday.

The ATM was inaugurated by Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu R. Christudas Gandhi on the premises of the only bank – Indian Bank Valavanthinadu Branch – on the hill.

The hill with 27 revenue villages is home to more than 50,000 people.

According to bank officials, the nearest ATM for these tribal dwellers atop the hill was more than 30 km for people living near the bank whereas it was more than 80 km for those living in one section of the hill. They said that the ATM is also the first biometric-enabled machine in the district.