Room for concern

Room for concern

Room for concern

The ATM attack, which happened in the City last November, had sent shivers down the spine of Bangaloreans. After the attack, strict regulations were given by the police to guard the ATM centres. Unfortunately, months after the attack, there are still many ATM kiosks in the City which do not have security guards.

Regulations are not followed in the Central Business District as well as other areas. Queen’s Road, MG Road, Sanjaynagar, RMV Second Stage are some of them.

With attacks and crimes on women and children in the City on the rise, many are feeling insecure and questioning the efficiency of the system.

Faiza Begum, a student says, “It is disappointing that crimes in the City are increasing day by day. The basics are still not in place. We need a foolproof system, where alarms go off when there is an emergency, which is a part of the specifications given for each ATM,” she says.

Many in the City like Pankaj Kritidas M, a management consultant from Sanjaynagar, points out that most ATMs located near the respective banks have security guards but if it is a standalone ATM centre, then either there are no guards or they go for long breaks.

“It is scary especially during early mornings and nights. Also, if someone needs any assistance while withdrawing money, there is no one to turn to. There are quite a few ATMs in Sanjaynagar which do not have security guards,” says Pankaj. He adds that many ATMs in the City are in a bad condition and don’t have CCTV cameras also in place.

Bhavik Shah, an IT architect, says that most of the security officials appointed to guard ATMs are either unfit or aged people. “When an untoward incident happens, I’m not sure if the guards will be able to handle the miscreants,” says Bhavik.

He also points out that with Bangalore being a technologically advanced city, a system should be made where the ATM doors automatically close while entering an ATM with the helmet on or when one enters while talking on a mobile phone.

There are some kiosks in the City which are open and others which only have a glass panel around them, in commercial areas. Seema Bhatt, a homemaker from Banashankari, says that there is an open ATM kiosk near the BDA Complex, which does not have any guards around it.

“I rarely see people withdrawing money from them because it is scary,” she says.
There are also many ATM centres in the City which have two or more kiosks and it is a risky affair, points out Desiree Ann Vickers, a graduate.

She says, “An ATM centre with more kiosks gives a chance for people to enter while you are withdrawing money. You have to constantly be on guard at such a point till you are out of the ATM.”

Ask the authorities of the safety measures and they say that security measures are being followed. Pronab Mohanty, additional commissioner of police (crime), says, “The ATM safety scenario has been looked into thoroughly.

Specifications including security guards, proper CCTV camera coverage, burglar alarm and foolproof measures to prevent the ATM box from being lifted from a centre are in place.” He also points out that there have been regular checks on this and there have been no major incidents after the attack last year.