No ATM will be refilled with cash after 9 pm in cities and 6 pm in rural areas from February next year, according to a new directive issued by the Home Ministry, as reported by PTI.
The notification also added that the private agencies handling the operations must collect money from the banks in the first half of the day and transport them in armoured vehicles. The deadline for refilling the ATM machine in Naxal-hit areas is 4 pm.
The new directive has come in the wake of rising incidents of attacks on cash vans, cash vaults, ATM frauds and will come into effect from February 8, 2019.
The Home Ministry order also directed that every cash van shall have one driver, two armed security guards, two ATM officers or custodians during transit. While one armed guard must sit in the front along with the driver, the other should be positioned at the back of the van. The van cannot be left unguarded and during loading or unloading, toilet break, tea or lunch break, at least one armed security guard shall remain present with the cash van all the time.
The Home Ministry has also ordered that the ATM officers should be appointed only after a thorough background check like police, Aadhaar and residence verifications, previous employment history, credit history and fidelity insurance. An ex-serviceman may preferably be appointed for providing security for cash transportation.
The cash van shall be provided with a small CCTV system with at least five days recording facility and three cameras installed in front, rear and inside of the cabin. The van will also be fitted with a GPS tracking device, fire extinguishers and emergency lights to ensure quick reaction in case of an attack. It will also have a security alarm with GSM-based auto-dialer and a motorised siren.
The private security agency will ensure that all cash handling, including counting, sorting, and bundling activities shall be carried out in secured premises in accordance with specific guidelines. The premises shall be designed to include two physically independent areas, one for general office purpose and other for secured cash processing and handling activities and it shall accommodate space for cash deposit, collection, sorting, counting and delivery and dispatch of cash on secured cash vans.