SINDHULI, Feb 8: As most of the banks are limited to the district headquarters, earthquake victims living in rural parts of Sindhuli are almost deprived of banking service. As a result, they have to spend the whole day in vehicle to reach the headquarters even for minor transactions and mainly for receiving their reconstruction grants.
It takes more than a day for some people to reach the headquarters for receiving their grants. "We have to spend the whole day travelling to reach the district headquarters. We wish we had a bank here," said one of the quake victims of Hariharpurgadhi Rural Municipality. He lamented that they have to spend a large amount of money while travelling to the district headquarters. Despite that, they sometimes have to return home empty-handed due the hectic process.
In the recent years, the number of banks is growing in Sindhuli. However, they have been based only at the headquarters. There are altogether eight A-class banks in Sindhuli Bazaar. In the current fiscal year 2017/18, three A-class banks started their services in Kamalamai Municipality. With this, there are altogether 13 A and B class banks in Sindhuli. Likewise, there are innumerable small banks and co-operatives.
After the formation of the local government, people have demanded for banks in two municipalities and all seven rural municipalities of the district. Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) of Marin Rural Municipality, which was destroyed during the ten-year long armed conflict started by the Maoists, is yet to be reconstructed.
"We are informed that RBB will soon establish a branch office in our rural municipality but we are unaware about the date," said Paniraj Bamjan, chairperson of Marin. He informed that banking transactions have been widely affected in the absence of banks.
Villages like Hariharpurgadhi, Ghyanglek, Tinpatan and Fikkal Rural Municipality have no access to banking service, according to the people's representatives. As per the officials of RBB, insecurity following the incident of February 2, 2003, forced most of the branches of the bank to be centered at the headquarters.
There is only one bank in Dudhauli Municipality. This has compelled the service seekers to struggle in queue, informed Ritesh Raut, spokesperson of the municipality.
"Local seeking allowance, quake grants and other kinds of relief have to suffer a lot in the lack of banks," said Raut. As the reconstruction works have been expedited in the recent days, quake victims have demanded banking services in rural areas as well.