Indian trader loses life savings to termites
by Gill Montia
Story link: Indian trader loses life savings to termites
A trader in India’s booming economy has lost his life savings, after termites infesting his bank’s safe deposit boxes ate them.
Dwarika Prasad, who lives in the state of Bihar, had deposited currency notes and investment certificates worth hundreds of thousands of rupees in a bank safe in the state capital, Patna.
Officials at the government-owned Central Bank of India are disclaiming responsibility because they say they put up a notice warning about the termites, however, they admit customers were not informed individually.
Mr Prasad claims the deposit box contained currency notes worth $11,000, investment papers worth $5,660, plus gold and silver jewellery.
He began using the box in September 2005, when relations with his wife and children were strained but when he opened it earlier this year, it contained only the remains of currency notes and some “badly perforated” investment papers. Even the jewellery had been damaged by the termite activity.
The bank’s manager, Mr YP Saha, says: “We received a few complaints of termites in safe deposit boxes so after putting on the notice, we got pesticides sprayed in the bank”.
Mr Saha maintains that Mr Prasad cannot blame the bank for his loss because the deposit box remained in tact.
He explains: “The bank is not liable for the deposits kept inside the safe as it is only when a locker is found broken that the bank is answerable.”
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