Address error on cheques stumps bank

Bokaro is a district in Jharkhand right? Wrong, if you go by cheques being printed by State Bank of India (SBI), which clearly states Bokaro is a part of Dhanbad district, which according to the bank is in Bihar!

Now the facts. Bokaro district was carved out of Dhanbad district way back in 1991, and Jharkhand state, of which the steel hub and coal capital are part of, was carved out of Bihar in 2000.

So the changes that should have been incorporated 21 years and 13 years ago, respectively, have not been done till date, at least for the chequebooks issued by the Naya More branch of the bank in Bokaro steel city.

In the last month alone, the branch has issued 6,000 chequebooks to customers with the wrong address.

The mistakes that went unnoticed for two decades was brought to the notice of all on Thursday by an alert Class III student of Chinmaya School, Swapnil Kumar.

Swapnil called The Telegraph to enquire which state and district Bokaro was part of. When told that Bokaro was a district by itself and was part of Jharkhand, Swapnil laughingly pointed out the error on the cheques.

When The Telegraph called for the cheque the child had seen, it clearly stated that Bokaro steel city was in Dhanbad district and was in Bihar (see photo).

A senior official in the administrative branch of the bank first brushed off the issue by saying the cheque was an old one. However, when it was found that the chequebook was one of the latest series printed by the bank in Maharashtra's Belapur, the official was stumped.

SBI regional manager Pravin Raghvendra apologised for the "blunder" and called the bank's head office in Delhi, where data stored in computers showed that Bokaro was in Dhanbad district, but in Jharkhand.

Raghvendra said the amended address of the branch had been sent to Belapur, but the corrections were not carried out. He added that the mistake appeared to be confined to the chequebooks issued for the Naya More branch only.

Raghvendra expressed surprise that it took a nine-year-old to point out a blunder that was being committed for the last 20 years.

"I thank The Telegraph and Swapnil for bringing the matter to light," he said.

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