The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has instructed all banks in the country to ensure steps for the safety of their respective Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
The apex bank has issued the orders in view of the cases of burglary, dacoity, robbery and theft in the cash vending machines of banks.
"RBI has informed that the number of instances of burglary, dacoity, robbery and theft in ATMs, as reported by banks and financial institutions to RBI, were 303 in 2017-18 and 515 in 2018-19. The amount involved was Rs 11.22 crore and Rs 25.47 crore respectively," said a PIB release.
The RBI in its circular issued last month had directed all the banks to grout the walls, ceilings and floors of their ATMs with plaster/mortar by September-end this year.
The fresh instructions, which were aimed at mitigating risks in ATM operations and enhancing security, had exempted high secured premises such as airports.
In October 2016, the central bank had set up Committee on Currency Movement (CCM) to review the entire range of security of treasure in transit.
Earlier on February 28, this year, the CCM recommended plenty of measures to standardise the storage facilities in Currency Chests (CCs), which said, "The CCs having large vault space shall consider segregation of storage of coins inside the vault duly segregated by mesh structure/barricades without obstructing clear view and CCTV coverage."
Hence, in a notification issued on Friday June 14, the RBI said, "as part of the security measures, all ATMs shall be operated for cash replenishment only with digital One Time Combination (OTC) locks", the notification said.
Moreover, the RBI has also asked banks to roll-out a comprehensive e-surveillance mechanism at the ATMs to ensure timely alerts and quick response.
If the banks fail to comply with the instructions and miss deadline then they would attract regulatory action including levy of penalty, warned the RBI.